By Onome Oghenetega

The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba has dismissed the suit filed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections for Isoko Federal Constituency, Mr Thomas Joel-Onowakpor challenging the electoral victory of former Reps Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Similarly, the suit filed by the former speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and candidate of the APC, Mr Monday Igbuya, also suffered the same fate, as his petition against the current member representing Okpe/Uvwie, and Sapele federal constituency, Efe Afe (PDP) was dismissed.

However, Joel-Onowakpor was challenging Ogor’s victory on the ground that there was no substantial compliance to the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election and sort for the cancellation of the election in the area.

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But the three-man tribunal panel headed by Justice E. A. Ngene, in an unanimous judgment on Friday, ruled that the petitioner failed to prove his allegations of over voting and corrupt practices during the last general election.

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The tribunal also held that witnesses called by Joel-Onowakpor were not witnesses of truth and therefore could not be relied on and therefore the struck out the petition for lack of merit.

It further held that Leo Ogor of the PDP having polled the highest number of votes in the said election stands elected.

The tribunal awarded a cost of N100,000 against the petitioners in favour of the third respondents.

Meanwhile, the tribunal while dismissing Igbuya’s suit, affirmed that Chief Efe Afe of the PDP remained the duly elected member representing Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency of the February23rd, 2019 National Assembly election.

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Justice Ngene, who also delivered the judgement, held that the petitioner (Igbuya) failed to substantiate his claims that the election was marred by irregularities.

Igbuya had prayed the court to either cancel the election or order for a fresh election.

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But the Tribunal unanimously turned the APC candidate’s prayer for failing to prove his case before the three-man panel.

 Meanwhile, Afe, who is in the US to join other Urhobos to celebrate this year’s Urhobo Progress Union, America (UPUA) annual convention, has thanked members of the panel for delivering a judgement affirming his election.

The lawmaker particularly thanked the people of Okpe, Sapele and Uvwie Federal Constituency for supporting during the legal tussle and dedicated the tribunal’s victory to them.


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