Appeal court sacks Ndudi Elumelu, affirms LP candidate winner of reps seat in Delta


The court of appeal in Abuja has set aside the judgment of
the national and state houses of assembly election tribunal in Asaba.


The tribunal had declared Ndudi Elumelu, candidate of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as winner of the 2023 election for
Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency, Delta state.


In a judgment on Thursday, the appellate court affirmed
Ngozi Okolie, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), as the duly elected lawmaker.


Kenneth Ibe, the returning officer of the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC), had announced that Okolie polled 53,879
votes to defeat Elumelu, who got 33,456 votes.


However, Elumelu filed a petition before the tribunal on the
grounds that Okolie was not duly sponsored by the LP since he was not a member
of the party as of May 28, 2022, when the party’s primary election was held.


The three-member panel of the tribunal, headed by A.Z.
Mussa, in its ruling, agreed with Elumelu and disqualified the LP candidate.


But the court of appeal faulted the tribunal for voiding
Okolie’s election.


The appellate court agreed with Mahmud Magaji, counsel to
LP, that contrary to the findings of the tribunal, Okolie was duly nominated
and sponsored by his party.


The appeal court also stated that Okolie resigned his
appointment as a senior special assistant (SSA) in the Delta state government,
as required by the constitution, before the election.



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