By Lucky Isibor,
A Federal High Court sitting in Benin Thursday, disqualified Mr. Osaro Obazee, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Oredo East Constituency in next Saturday’s House of Assembly election.
In place of Obazee, Justice Damilola Ajayi ruled that Mr. Ekhosuehi Aiguobahi is the legitimate candidate of the APC for Saturday’s election.
Obazee, a former chairman of Oredo local government area had initially signified his intention to run for the Oredo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives but was ordered by the party leaders to step down for the Majority Leader of the House of Assembly, Mr. Osaigbovo Iyoha and go for the House of Assembly.
The trial judge ruled that Ekhosuehi won last year primary of the party and therefore remains the rightful candidate for the March 9 election.
Reacting to the judgment, Obazee told journalists in his G.R.A. Benin campaign office that he has put machinery in motion to appeal the decision and still remained the party’s candidate for the election.
While appealing to to his supporters to remain calm, the ex-council boss said: “My supporters should come out enmasse to vote for me on Saturday. I have the INEC form which was given to me as the candidate who won the primary. They should remain calm.”
The Edo State publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Azebamwan insisted that Obazee remains the party’s candidate for the constituency.
Azebamwan who spoke with journalists at the party state secretariat said that the party has instructed it’s legal team to appeal the judgment just as he re-affirmed Hon Obazee as the party’s candidate for Oredo East constituency.
According to the publicity secretary, “We hereby re-affirm Obazee as the candidate of the APC in Oredo East Constituency, and hereby reassure our teeming supporters to keep faith and remain steadfast. The leadership of our great party will do everything necessary, and explore all legal options to ensure that the mandate which we collectively gave Obazee to fly our flag in the election of Saturday March 9 remains inviolate.”