By John Mayaki
Once upon a time, a man contested at a gubernatorial election. He apparently lost the election to a man that was of a more trustworthy mien to execute the mandate of the people of that state, and, egged on by his political party, co-wrote a petition contesting the declaration of that other man as the winner.
The petition blew into an election tribunal, and no sooner had the tribunal commenced sitting than the man, a political pastor it was said, passionately prayed the tribunal to declare him the winner of that election and send the other man packing, who by this time was already leading the people to progress.
That was when, even in defeat, the going was good. As it stands, this political pastor, whose name must now be revealed as Andrew Osagie, a former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) South-South Leader is in a fine kettle of fish.
His case was not helped by a lawyer, who knowing the weakness of the petition, set about pursuing boomeranging arguments and lining up a host of witnesses – enough even to constitute a small army.
He was, his countenance revealed, a man of many sorrows. His lawyer was floundering with much grandstanding and the respondents were not resting on their oars. His identity was under intense debate.
Stone-faced, the political-pastor peered out of his elegant spectacles at the courtroom, wondering if the three judges seated knew what he was thinking – that he should never have contested the results of the election.
He wondered, somewhere in the deep recesses of his heart, if he was the man who contested the September 28th, 2016 governorship election. It had been exposed in court that the man who contested under the defeated umbrella of the PDP was quite different from he who challenged the outcome of the polls.
The rub was in demystifying the dark horse who contended the election – was it Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu or Andrew Ize-Iyamu or Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu? The tribunal was confounded.
This was the affliction of a man seeking to reap where he did not sow by wanting to be declared as the winner of an election he claimed was characterized by fraud, irregularities and other stout electoral offences.
Therefore, he was unamused, as was his party Chairman, when their melodramatic counsel, ordered them both – one a gangling fellow, the other, a bit of a Humpty-dumpty – to stand up. The aim had been for identification and mutual cognizance between both men.
The law would not suffer such a backdoor approach to rectify identity discrepancies between the party’s candidate and the 1st petitioner to stand.
Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Godwin Obaseki, the 2nd respondent said: “We have given authorities on Supreme Court decisions to the effect that if you are JT or DT, you cannot say you are TJ because they do not point to the same person or the same direction. It dovetails to the locus standi of the 1st petitioner to come before your Lordships because there must be sanctity of the person, who is the petitioner and we say for now, there is no sanctity”.
Those who saw this attempt by the petitioners to bully the law were not flabbergasted, but they knew the petitioners could not reverse the good fortune they would enjoy under the man Obaseki.
The optimism of the people of Edo State runs high daily, as can be seen in the reactions of the people and the politicians – even from the PDP divide.
Both men, Andrew and/or Osagie will never be the same anymore. They merely wrote petitions in conjunction with the party, PDP, without following the law, ignoring facts and reality, and consequently exhibiting desperation by basking in the misleading influence of wishful thinking.