The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday reversed the judgement of the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal which sacked the member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in Delta State, Mr. Ngozi Okolie.
The tribunal, had in its judgement, declared the PDP candidate who came second in the election, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, as the winner while sacking the Okolie of the Labour Party for wrong nomination by his party.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced that Okolie polled 53,879 votes to defeat Elumelu, who got 33,456 votes.
But in a judgment on Thursday, the appellate court affirmed Ngozi Okolie, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), as the duly elected lawmaker.
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.