The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City has thrown out the appeal filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples Democratic Party against the ruling of the tribunal on the recounting of ballot papers.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu had asked the appellate court to order a complete recounting of used ballot papers from four local government areas produced before the lower tribunal.
The four local government areas are Akoko-Edo, Egor, Estako West and Estako East.
He contended that the tribunal erred when it stopped the recounting of the ballot papers once the 14 days given to the petitioners to present their case have elapsed.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu also requested an order that the period utilized by the recounting be discounted from the the 14 days granted the petitioners to prove their case.
He pleaded that the time be restored in order for him to call more witnesses.
Delivering unanimous judgment on the appeal, Justice Mudasiru Nasiru who read the lead judgment said he decided to take great caution not to go out of bound since the tribunal was yet to deliver judgment on the main petition.
Justice Nasiru held that paragraph 41 of First Schedule of the Electoral Act prescribed the time upon which petitioners and respondents were to prove and defend their case.
He ruled that any action done outside the prescribed time would be a nullity and that the tribunal was right to stop the counting of ballot papers after the 14 days have elapsed.
His words, “Whatever any party should do to prove its case must be done within the time produced by the Schedule. Once a party commences, the time prescribed will start to run”.
“The two issues for determination are resolved against the appellants. The appeal is unmeritorious and lacked merit. It is hereby dismissed.”