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Tribunal declares Elumelu winner of the election, nullifies Okolie because there was no labour party primaries



National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has nullified the election of the member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Ngozi Okolie.

Ngozi Okolie of the Labour Party, LP, was declared winner of the  February 25 House of Representatives election in the federal constituency by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

But immediate past Minority Leader  of the House of Representatives and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ndidi Elumelu, filed a petition before the tribunal praying it to disqualify Okolie.

Elumelu, in the petition no EPT/DL/HR/06/2023, argued that Okolie was not properly sponsored by the Labour Party, and that he did not resign his position as a public office holder.

The three-member tribunal panel headed by Justice A.Z. Mussa, in it’s rulling, disqualified  Okolie and declared the runners up in the election, Ndudi Elumelu as winner of the election.

The tribunal held that Okolie was not duly sponsored by the Labour Party and that he was not a member of the party as at May 28, 2022 when the primary purportedly held.

It also resolved in favour of the petitioners that the second respondent, (Okolie) did not resign from public office to contest the elections.

Speaking with newsmen after the ruling, Counsel of the petitioner, Andrew Osemenem said: “The petitioner founded his petition on one ground, and that is the ground of qualification.

“That ground, we said through the witnesses and documents that the Labour Party candidate was not a member of Labour Party as at 28th of May, 2022 when they purportedly held primaries for the National Assembly Election.

“We also proved and the tribunal agreed with us that there was no primaries, there was no sponsorship, the Labour Party did not conduct any primary into the NASS.

“And Sections 65 and 66 of the constitution require that for a person to be qualified to contest election into the House of Representatives, he must belong to a political party and must be sponsored by that political party.

“In this instance, Okolie, the tribunal found that he was not duly sponsored by the Labour Party because there was no primaries.

“The second ground is as we urged the tribunal, the tribunal also found that Okolie was in public office, he did not resign.”

He added that “for these two reasons his election was nullified in line with Section 135 of the Electoral Act, Elumelu who was the first runner up, has been declared and returned as winner of that election.”

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