ELECTION PETITION: TRIBUNAL GRANTS THE PRAYERS OF HON. ELUMELU
An election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, Nigeria, has declared the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Aniocha / Oshimili Federal Costituency, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, winner of the just concluded 2023 election.
The election petition was filed by the former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Elumelu, challenging the victory of the labour Party candidate, Hon. Ngozi Okolie.
The Lead Counsel to Hon. Elumelu, Ken Mozia (SAN), had urged the tribunal to grant its prayers to the effect that there was no valid primary that produced Hon. Okolie, but the Lead Counsel to Hon. Okolie, Chike Onyemenam (SAN), submitted that the petition be dismissed.
In its judgement on Monday, July 24, 2023, the Election Tribunal held among other things, that the Labour Party candidate, Ngozi Okolie was not sponsored by the Labour Party as at May 28, 2022, when the Primary purportedly held.
Arising from this, the Tribunal declared the runner up in the February 25, 2023 National Assembly election, Hon. Elumelu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winner.
The Labour Party candidate who was declared winner by the Independent National Election Commission, (INEC), had already celebrated as member of the 10th Assembly before this new development.
It would be recalled that many politicians in Nigeria defected to the Labour Party to contest the 2023 General election because of Mr. Peter Obi’s popularity.
They are however being confronted with Section 77(2) and (3) of the electoral Act which demands that every political party shall maintain a register of its members in both hard and soft copy, and that each political party shall make such a register available to the Commission not later than 30days before the date fixed for the Party’s Primaries, Congresses or Convention.
As at the time of filing in this report, it had not been ascertained if the Labour Party Candidate would appeal the judgement.