Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2023

Tribunal Declares Delta South Senatorial Polls Inconclusive, Orders Re-Run In Warri South LGA

JUDICIARY 3

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-THE National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, Wednesday, declared the February 25, 2023 National Assembly election held in Delta South Senatorial district inconclusive.

It also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct supplementary re-run election in the contentious Warri South Local Government Area of the State.

Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Micheal Diden had brought a petition before the tribunal challenging the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Joel Onowakpo-Thomas as winner of the election by INEC.

Diden who challenged the cancellation of election results in Warri South INEC had prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the polls or alternatively, declare the election inconclusive and order a supplementary rerun election in the council area.

While the the second respondent (Onowakpor-Thomas) alleged diversion of BVAS machines and irregularities in the said local government area, the petitioner said elections were held peacefully in the council area but we’re unlawfully cancelled.

The petitioner also argued that the result of the presidential and Hose of Representatives elections which held simultaneously with that of the Senate, were not cancelled, adding that it was the same process of accreditation and voting that applied for the three elections.

Delivering it’s judgement, the three-member tribunal headed by Justice Cathrine Ogunsola granted the petitioner’s alternate relief.

Ogunsola said the second respondent could not prove that there were irregularities that warranted the cancellation of the election results.

She said: “The tribunal declares that the second respondent was not duly elected or returned by majority of lawful votes in Delta South Senatorial district on 25th February, 2023

“The tribunal declares that elections held in Delta South were inconclusive and a supplementary re-run election be held in Warri South Local Government Area.

“The tribunal hereby set aside the Certificate of Returns issued to the second respondent by the first respondent in respect in respect of the February 23rd election into the Senate for Delta South senatorial district having not been duly elected.”

The tribunal also ordered the first respondent “to not later than 90 days from today, conduct a supplementary re-run election in Warri South Local Government Area and declare whoever wins and issue such a person with Certificate of Returns.”

Vanguard

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