The Edo State Secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been in locks and keys since the day the PDP filed their petition against the Edo State Governorship Election Tribunal holding in Benin City.

No human activity has been observed at the APC secretariat at Airport Road in Benin City. Not even the security personnel are available at the secretariat.

Investigation by Urhokpota Reporters indicate that the APC decided to close her gates and keep Godwin Obaseki, the respondent, in hiding because they panic over the fact that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has filed a watertight petition at the appeal tribunal and they are avoiding service to buy time so that the court may technically extend the seven days given to them to respond.

On the 19th October 2016, Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, formally filed a petition before the Edo State election petitions tribunal in Benin, challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki, winner of the September 28 2016 poll. The law provides for 180 days duration for the appeal at this stage.

Before the PDP filed their case, outgoing governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, boasted that he was waiting to meet the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at the tribunal.

The APC dismissed the observation, reports and commentary that emanated from the elections, where preponderance of opinions was that the mandate was to PDP and its candidate but brazenly stolen.

Observers and residents of Edo state have started to react to the development which is that the APC is avoiding service of court papers.

According to the Legal Adviser of the PDP, Prof Edoba Omoregie. “We have 180 days to start and conclude tribunal hearing. They are evading service as part of strategies to run down the time. Steps are being taken to serve by other means.”

“For how long will they (APC) continue to hide? Rubbish!” Preston Okojie, an engineer and businessman said.

“Why are they afraid? So Oshiomhole the tortoise is also afraid after he boasted and deceived the gullible that he was waiting for Ize-Iyamu? Let them respond now. I am convinced that the PDP will emerge victorious and Oshiomhole and hi gang will be vanquished from Edo.” Faith Iguodala Okoro, a social media activist stated.

It remains to be seen whether the PDP would out for an order of the court for a substituted Service or that the APC would resurrect in the morning.

Your Urhokpota Reporters will monitor the situation and keep you posted.

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