Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 governorship election Edo State, on Monday , said his party will not challenge the outcome of the exercise at the election petitions tribunal.
Mr Ize-Iyamu, however, said his party will pursue two pre-election cases already before the court to the fullest as part of efforts to challenge the victory of Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.
Mr Ize-Iyamu said the APC will pursue the cases to logical conclusions because the PDP also has 13 pre-election matters against his party.
The APC governorship candidate in the just-concluded election also said in a statement on Monday that contrary to media reports, the election was neither free nor fair, adding that there were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation and falsification of results.
Mr Obaseki was declared the winner of the contest by the Independent National Electoral Commission having polled 307,955 to defeat his Mr Ize-Iyamu, who had 223,619.
But Mr Ize-Iyamu said he decided not to commence an election petition to avoid further tension in the state.
He said the APC was mindful that its leadership and many well-placed individuals had made pronouncements endorsing the process, “which we have chosen to respect.”
Mr Ize-Iyamu said, “Contrary to orchestrated media reports, the election was neither free nor fair. There were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation, and falsification of results. In particular, there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhionmwon, 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.
“Sadly, two persons were killed during the election, while gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations without the intervention of law-enforcement agents. 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.