By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN – EDO State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the July 14, 2012 governorship election in the state, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (retired), Tuesday replied Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that his petition against his re-election at the Governorship Election Tribunal in Benin City.In his reply to the respondents’ address, Airhiavbere insisted that Governor Oshiomhole was not qualified to contest the governorship election as stipulated in Section 177 (d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and infraction of Section 182 (1) (j) of the same Constitution (as amended).
The petitioner also claimed that the primary school that the respondent claimed to have attended was not in existence as at the time he claimed to have been in the school, adding that the governor did not complete his Secondary Modern School he claimed to have attended.
Airhiavbere whose reply in the eight-paragraph affidavit in support of his petition, filed by his counsel led by Chief E. L. Akpofure (SAN), Messrs S. O. Agwinede, P. O. Itua, D. O. Inegbeboh, R. I. Okunbo (Mrs.) and K. I. Aigbe, also claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the 3rd respondent: did not follow its laid down rules and regulations in registering voters for the election, carried out a revision that is expressly prohibited before the election, did not observe laid down accreditation and voting procedures for statistical data, and produced a new manual register for use in the election.
“In specific reply to paragraphs 24 of the 2nd respondent’s reply to the petition, the petitioners state that the 1st respondent is not the owner of the Secondary Modern School Certificate and the altered Testimonial presented to the 3rd respondent and the 1st does not have Primary School Leaving Certificate.”
“There was no Iyamho Primary School, Iyamho in 1957. The 1st respondent was barred from enrolling into and entering primary one in 1957 having not attained the minimum age of six years by the provision of Western Region of Nigeria Gazette No. 17, Vol. 5 dated 5th April, 1956. The 1st respondent dropped out of the Secondary Modern School in the second year and did not complete the mandatory three years course at Blessed Martins Secondary Modern School, Jattu-Uzairue, which he claimed to have attended between 1963 and 1965. Unexplained discrepancies in the academic certificates presented as foresaid.”
He further stated that the production of new Manual Registers under any circumstances for use in the governorship election in the state on the 14th day of July, 2012 amounted to a revision or amendment which was clearly prohibited by the 3rd Respondent, INEC.
He insisted that any addition to or Alteration of the said 2011 Voters’ Registers amounted to a revision which the 3rd Respondent’s expressly and unambiguously prohibited, saying that all revised Voters’ Registers were void as far as they affect the said governorship election in the state.
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