By Tope Oke
All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the Edo September 19 poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, on Monday said he won’t contest his defeat in court despite faulting the outcome.
Though he said the election was neither free nor fair contrary to reports, alleging that there “were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.”
Ize-Iyamu, in a statement he personally signed said the decision not to contest the outcome was borne out of the desire not to further heat tension in the state.
He specifically pointed out “there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon while results were falsified from many polling units in Ofunama in Ovia South West, and in parts of Ovia North East, Owan West, Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan North East, Esan West, Esan South East, and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas.”
He further accused security agents of collusion, saying they refused to intervene when “gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations.”
The former Edo Secretary to the State Government (SSG) also said “there were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.”
These malpractices, according to him, could easily form the basis to challenge the election results.
He however said: “We have decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state.
“We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.”
He however said he would continue to pursue two pre-election cases challenging Governor Godwin Obaseki’s eligibility to contest the poll just “as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flagbearers have continued to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against us, all totalling 13.
“Consequently, we have decided to continue with our pre-election cases in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also continue with their pre-election cases against us.”