Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –
The Benin Division of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Benin City, Edo state has nullified the election and Tribunal victory of Osi Okocha, Accord Party member representing Aniocha North constituency at the Delta state House of Assembly.
Recall that the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in ASABA, Delta state had earlier ruled in favour of Osi Okocha as winner of the House of Assembly election in Aniocha North but Emeka Nwaobi (Petitioner) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) moved on to the Court of Appeal to further challenge the Tibunal ruling.
The Appeal Court however restored the victory to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr, Emeka Nwaothi and nullified that of Osi Okocha of Accord Party, member representing Aniocha North constituency.
Chairman of the five-man panel of Appeal Court Judges, Justice Uwani Abba-Aji upturned the Tribunal’s earlier ruling and declared that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Engr, Emeka Nwaobi is winner of the April 11 House of Assembly poll.
The new twist, according to political pundits, may have left Hon. Victor Ochei, former Speaker of the Delta state House of Asembly and Chief Sponsor of Osi Okocha of the Accord Party in a limbo, as he may have lost his foothold on the party which he literally re-introduced to launch himself and Osi Okocha to the Federal House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly respectively.
Reacting to the Appeal Court judgement, Engr. Emeka Nwaobi said, “What happened on the 11th of April this year was a robbery on my election victory. I won the election convincingly in eight out of the nine wards in Aniocha North local government area of the state. The only ward I lost was that of my opponent where he defeated me with only one vote.
“Meanwhile, somebody (names withheld) who feel that he is bigger than the entire people of Aniocha North went ahead to multilate the results and announced the wrong person as winner of the April election.
“I am promising the people of Aniocha North that from today, they will begin to see the transformation and positive change they desire and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint them on my mandate”.
The PDP chairman in Aniocha North local government area, Chief Ifeanyi Osuoza who was beaten to a pulp by thugs allegedly acting on the orders of an Accord Party chieftain on the day of the election said:
“Today, I feel fulfilled because, as somebody who midwifed the election in Aniocha North, I knew that Emeka Nwaobi, abinitio, won the April election in this local government before INEC declared the wrong person as winner.
“Despite the fact that the tribunal ruled in favour of Osi Okocha, we, Members of the PDP and indeed Aniocha North indigenes believed strongly in the victory of the mandate of Emeka Nwaobi.
“We thank God that the appeal court saw the justification in our appeal and awarded it to us. Now that Emeka Nwaobi has been declared winner of the April elections in Aniocha North, Delta State now has four complements of House of Assembly.
“No doubt, the victory of Emeka at the appeal court is indeed a plus to the people of Aniocha North because, democracy and politics is about the people-the grassroots which Emeka stands for. So, we are full of expectations.”
Efforts to contact either Osi Okocha or Accord Party chieftains for ccommentsand reactions on the Appeal Court judgement were unsuccessful.
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