The Edo Election Petition Tribunal has granted an ‘ex-parte motion’ filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The tribunal granted the motion on Wednesday in Benin City, the Edo State capital for the use of substitute service for respondents, Mr Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Counsel to the petitioner, Kingsley Obamogie, said the order was necessary to fast track proceedings, claiming that the APC was trying to frustrate the entire court process.
The APC Publicity Secretary in Edo State, Godwin Erahon, however, denied any wrongdoing by his party.
The court motion follows the victory of Mr Obaseki in the September 29 Edo State governorship election in south-south Nigeria.
But on the day of the election, the PDP had claimed there was a plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to rig the election at the collation centre.
In a swift response, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, told Channels Television in Kaduna that the election was not flawed with irregularities as alleged.
He debunked claims by the PDP that the commission deliberately delayed result of the election from the 18 local government councils in Edo State in order to favour the ruling APC in the state.
After INEC had declared Obaseki as the Edo State Governor-elect, the PDP and its candidate proceeded to the tribunal to challenge the results of the poll.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the Edo State governorship election will go on as planned.
The electoral body’s decision was announced on Wednesday by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Solomon Soyebi.
He spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting in Benin City, the state’s capital in south-south Nigeria.
Mr Soyebi was responding to the advice by the police and the Department of State Services (DSS), asking INEC to postpone the election scheduled to hold on Saturday over security concerns.
He said the commission had just been informed of the advice and would have to study it before any decision would be taken on it.
The police and the DSS had said that the advice was based on credible intelligence at their disposal, which suggested that insurgents were planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between September 12 and 13.
The agencies highlighted Edo State as one of the states that have been earmarked for these planned attacks.
In a joint statement, they reminded the public that similar threats were earlier issued during the Labour Day and Democracy Day celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.
Earlier on Monday, some candidates of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) writing the General Certificate Examination (GCE) in Edo State demanded for a shift in the date of the governorship election.
The election is scheduled to hold on September 10, but the students are asking the electoral body to postpone it.
Some of them staged a protest at the Government House in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, with placards emblazoned with their demands.