The Gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 28th election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has been told to approach the Election Petition Tribunal without a mindset since he lacks the capacity and locus to determine the composition of the panel.
A statement by the Transition Committee Office of the Governor-elect said Edo people were taken aback by the statement credited to the candidate of the PDP, Osagie Ize-Iyamu as to window-shopping for fair-minded judges to try his case at the tribunal.
According to the statement signed by Mr. John Mayaki, “we listened to the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s speech at a thanksgiving worship at the Trinity Sanctuary of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Benin City, with regards to his expectation that the judges appointed to try his case be fair-minded and not those with a mindset.
“I dare-say here that Ize-Iyamu’s statement betrayed him as a Lawyer and Pastor going to equity without clean hands and one with an already set mind. Just as his statement is replete with bias and preconception, he has no right to suggest the coloration, character and integrity of those who should make the list of the panel of judges.
“If the PDP knows they have no case, they had better wait for another four years and try their luck again, that is, if the people will recompense them for the manner in which they brought this nation to economic standstill rather than setting the tone for judicial blackmail to give excuse for their political predicament. Besides, let me put them on notice that ‘dog bone’ must not make their excuse list as they approach the election petition tribunal.
“The PDP is like a drowning man or better put, a school boy who wouldn’t prepare for exams but heap blame on the teacher – he doesn’t like my face. The judges hate me or they hate my party, the PDP – the manner they blame every of their predicaments on Governor Adams Oshiomhole after the pounding at the September 28th election.
“I see Ize-Iyamu and his PDP cohorts as people who would use every excuse in the books to skip out – including a fair-minded judge who would do their bidding in an era of anti-corruption crusade. PDP’s rumblings and never-ending excuses and accusations must not extend to the judiciary”, Mayaki warned.
However, Mayaki commended Ize-Iyamu for stating the obvious about the conduct of the election saying, Ize-Iyamu’s family’s gratitude to God for a violence-free Edo State election, before, during and in which no life was lost is to attest to the fact that Godwin Obaseki won the election free and fair unlike what we experienced in Bayelsa and Rivers State.
“That the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man for justice is not in doubt according to Ize-Iyamu but Edo people worry if the PDP candidate can also be classified as a common man – the type that would collect N700 million meant for the security of common people and squander it.
“Or what manner of common man is Ize-Iyamu who lives in a house with a land space measuring to the standards of a stadium – I mean the real common man who has his friends in ex-convicts and treasury looters”.
But most importantly according to Mayaki, “Ize-Iyamu’s declaration for a fair minded judge to handle the litigation arising from his rejection of the results is a legal aberration and an affront on the hallowed judiciary which should not emanate from a person who claims to be a qualified lawyer. A person outside the legal profession making such utterance might be forgiven for ignorance, but a lawyer making such is implicitly questioning his own certificate.
“It is indeed true that legal principles allow a party to the case to express lack of confidence in the presiding judge on account of previous experience or an observed manifestation of biased handling on the judge’s part. However, neither of these is the case yet to warrant Ize-Iyamu’s search for a fair judge.
“The tribunal is yet to be composed. How then did Ize-Iyamu know ahead that the judge to be assigned to preside over the case will not be fair minded? Another legal principle proposes that ‘you cannot be a judge in your own case of interest’. This suggests that a party to a case cannot be a judge in that case. The act of one of the parties seeking a judge who, by his own subjective opinion, is fair is nothing short of a travesty of this principle.
“How can Ize-Iyamu be the one to determine and choose a judge for a case in which he is an interested party? What gives him the impression that the other party also should not have an equal right to seek a judge who is fair minded by their own assessment; if legal principles empowers an interested parties to do that?
“Even in situations whereby the prayers of a dis-satisfied party to a given case is granted, that a case be transferred to another judge, the power to choose that alternate judge is still not given to the party whose prayers is heard but reserved for the judiciary. So exactly on what legal philosophy is Ize-Iyamu seeking a ‘fair minded’ judge by his own standards”, Mayaki queried.