Hon. Ben Igbakpa

By Ovie Okpare

The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, has removed the member representing Ethiope Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Mr Benson Roland Igbakpa, as the winner of the 2019 election in the area.

Igbakpa, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, was asked to vacate the seat for his opponent, Chief Halims Agoda of the All Progressives Congress.

Agoda had approached the tribunal urging it to declare him as the rightful winner of the 23rd February 2019 National Assembly Election in the constituency as the exercise was marred by electoral irregularities.

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 The APC candidate had told the tribunal to cancel the election or in the alternative declare him the winner haven scored the highest number of valid votes cast during the election.

Delivering her judgement on Friday in Asaba, the chairman of the Tribunal, Justice A.M. Abubakar, after listened to the issues raised declared that Agoda was the rightful winner of the election.

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The tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Cerficate of Return earlier issued to Igbakpa, and issued same to the APC candidate, Agoda, who won the election.

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Speaking immediately after the election, Agoda dedicated the tribunal victory to the people of Ethiope Constituency who voted him as member of the National Assembly.

He thanked the judiciary for having the courage to correct the wrong done to him during the election.


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