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By Chris Nomjov
It appears respite is coming the way of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Tribunal, as National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba on Saturday, upheld the election of Senator Ighoyota Amori, of the PDP, and dismissed the petition filed by Ovie Omo-Agege of the Labour Party, LP.
Mr. Omo-Agege had gone to the tribunal to challenge the election of Ighoyota Amori of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Delta Central.
Omo-Agege and the Labour Party point sought the nullification of the declaration of Mr. Amori as the Senator-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In its ruling, the three-member tribunal, headed by Justice L I Boufini, however, held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations in his petition before the tribunal.
The judge said that Mr. Omo-Agege was unable to prove the allegations of electoral irregularities, snatching of ballot boxes, financial inducement of voters and cases of over voting contained in his petition.
“The allegations of the petitioner, including his eight witnesses, were based on hearsay, and the law does not entertain arguments based on hearsay.
“This tribunal has considered the arguments of the petitioner and the defence of the respondents.
“It is, therefore, our view that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of electoral irregularities beyond reasonable doubt.
“In the light of the above, the petition is hereby dismissed,” the judge said.
Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Omo-Agege, told journalists that he was not giving up on his petition, adding that he was determined to appeal the ruling of the tribunal.
“We filed all our addresses as expected, but unfortunately, the ruling of the tribunal today is not what we expected.
“However, we are going to appeal the judgment, because we believe we have a good case,” Mr. Omo-Agege said.
The premise upon which the Labour Party is pursuing it’s good case can be understood, by its allegations, that the April 2015 Senatorial election in Delta Central was not properly handled.
After the announcement of the Delta Central Senatorial results, back in April, Mr. Aruviere, the Campaign manager of Mr. Omo-Agege, ha alleged that INEC was not truly independent as it claimed to be.
“Results from LP strongholds were unanimously cancelled, especially in Ethiope East, Uvwie and Udu local government areas,” he said.
Whether or not this Tribunal verdict is a good omen for Embattled PDP, prior to the determination of the Governorship Election Tribunal results; remains to be seen.
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