The commencement of Edo State Election Tribunal set up to look into the petition submitted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu challenging Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC declaration of Mr Andrew Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the governorship election turned bloody outside the court room.
As early as 7.00 am last Thursday, the Tribunal premises which is next door to the State High Court was besieged by supporters of both the APC and the PDP, singing solidarity and war songs. The arrival of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Phillip Shaibu elicited riotous ovation as youths in hundreds forced their way into the tribunal premises despite the security barricades.
The situation got worse with the arrival of Governor-elect, Mr Godwin Obaseki who walked straight into the Courtroom amidst shouts of his party slogan. As deliberations went on inside the tribunal, thugs allegedly loyal to a prominent revenue collector in the state, organized themselves into vigilant group that took over the screening of those who were allowed or deprived entry into the tribunal premises.
The struggle continued until the Governor-elect left and shortly afterwards, hell was left loose as the thugs descended on those suspected to be members of the PDP who were identified with their T-shirts. The scene then degenerated to a free for all, a situation that left several people injured. No fewer than six men were attacked and given the beating of their lives with their clothes soaked in blood in the presence of police officers who apparently kept close watch of the violent incident. The men of the Nigeria Police force who were around did little as the thugs outnumbered them.