By Onome Oghenetega

The Election Petitions Tribunal II has reserved judgement in the the petition filed by the former Governor of Delta State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Delta South Senatorial District, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan against Senator James Manager.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Manager of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the February 23, 2019 National Assembly elections for Delta South.

Manager polled 258,812 votes to win Uduaghan who garnered 125,776 votes in the election.

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However, the tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State capital and presided over by Justice C. O Onyeabo on Wednesday reserved judgement in Uduaghan’s petition.

Uduaghan in the petition filed by his lawyer, Thomson Okpoko (SAN) told the tribunal that the February 23National Assembly election in the district was marred by massive rigging and other irregularities.

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The APC candidate prayed the tribunal to cancel the election and order for a fresh election owing to alleged overwhelming evidences that the election was manipulated in favour of Senator James Manager of the PDP.

Uduaghan’s petition further hinted that the first respondent, PDP, second respondent, INEC and third respondent, Manager connived with each other to penetrate electoral irregularities during the process.

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But at the adoption of the written addresses, counsel to PDP, Mr Febude Zimugehan, urged the tribunal to dismiss Uduaghan’s petition since he had not been able to proof his claims before the tribunal with necessary evidences as demanded in the electoral act.

Similarly, the lawyer to Senator Manager (third respondent), Mr Larry Selekeowel (SAN) equally aligned himself with the position of the first and second respondents and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of proof.

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However, Justice Onyeabo while accepting the arguments canvassed by the counsels to the parties in the suit, said date for the judgement would be communicated to the parties.


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