Supreme Court Verdict: Edo PDP Lampoons Ize-Iyamu over Congratulatory Letter to Obaseki

…Questions His Locus for Making Demands on Governor

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Edo State has described the letter of congratulations sent to the governor, Godwin Obaseki, by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in the state, as “more of a wish-list of unmerited and contemptuous demands” than a congratulatory message.

Recall that the Supreme Court had on Friday May 28, 2021, finally brought to an end the tussle for the governorship of the state when it dismissed an appeal filed by the APC and one Williams Edobor on the certificate forgery suit they filed against Governor Obaseki. The Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal had ruled in favour of the governor.

But following the final verdict by the apex court, Ize-Iyamu, former secretary to the state government, SSG on Monday sent a congratulatory letter to the governor in which he also made a case for an out-of-court settlement in the series of litigations involving the 14 law makers whose seats had been declared vacant, as well as his intervention in the plight of local government chairmen, vice-chairmen and councilors who were suspended by the governor.
However, in its reaction to the letter which it claimed was deliberately leaked by the author, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lampooned Ize-Iyamu, and ruled out the likelihood of the governor dignifying him with a reply. In a statement signed by the state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, the PDP said it would have been better and more honourable for Ize-Iyamu to have remained silent. The party accused the APC candidate of proffering “alternative facts” in an attempt to justify his reasons for going to court.

According to Nehikhare, “Now that it is clear that the APC booby traps of unwarranted, unnecessary, mindless and malicious court cases have collapsed, we have entered the season of congratulatory messages”. He said the PDP was “pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a letter from Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate in the last governorship election, who incidentally, would have been the main beneficiary, had the Supreme Court ruled against Governor Obaseki, PDP and by extension, a vast majority of Edo people”. He said the letter, “though titled CONGRATULATIONS, was more of a wish-list of unmerited and contemptuous demands”.

Accusing Ize-Iyamu of trying to be “clever by half”, Nehikhare said “He claimed that he and his party didn’t go to the Tribunal but he failed to inform Edo people that he connived to be added as a respondent in the tribunal cases contrary to law and asked to be returned as Governor… And besides, when he lost, together with his party, they filed separate appeals which they both lost again!”

Further upbraiding the APC flag bearer, Nehikhare said “It is contemptuous and akin to busybody status for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to appeal for an out of court settlement in the case of the 14 former members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly who voluntarily abdicated their seats and when those concerned haven’t asked for it”.

Noting that the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, “in a well considered judgment, declared the actions taken by the Assembly against the 14 as proper,” the PDP publicity scribe said “We are therefore constrained to question Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s locus for this request as well as the request made for the former council chairmen and councilors. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is crying more than the bereaved!”

Nehikhare concluded that “After carefully perusing the letter addressed to the Governor, we are of the opinion that it would probably have been better and more honourable for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to have remained silent. We may have said we have Forgiven, we didn’t say we have forgotten! In our considered opinion, we don’t think the Governor, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki should dignify the letter with a response or reply”.

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