The senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ede Dafinone, has rejected the judgment of the National Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting at Asaba today nullifying his election.
The Delta Central lawmaker while reacting to the verdict of the tribunal, said that while he respects the ruling of the tribunal, he however, rejected the decision and has directed his legal team to appeal the tribunal judgment.
The tribunal led by Justice W. I. Kpochi, while delivering its judgment in a petition marked EPT/DT/Sen/2023 filed by the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ighoyota Amori, dismissed some of his prayers for lack of merit.
The tribunal, however, nullified the return made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC 25th February 2023 and ordered a supplementary election within 90 days in only 23 polling units, out of the 2,180 units in the district.
Tribunal also held that the prayer of Amori seeking the relief of the tribunal to declare the victory of Senator Ede Dafinone as null, void and of no consequence, as well as, alternative prayer that he should be declared the winner of the senatorial election could not stand or be granted for lack of merit.
The affected polling units where the Tribunal declared rerun are in Sapele, Okpe, Udu and Ughelli North LGAs.
Meanwhile, Senator Dafinone in a statement said that his not perturbed by the outcome of the case and asked his supporters and party faithful to remain calm as he headed to appeal court to reclaim his mandate.
The statement read:
“The National Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting at Asaba today nullified my return as the winner of the Delta Central Senatorial Election of 25 February 2023 and ordered a supplementary election within 90 days in only 23 polling units, out of the 2,180 units in the district.
“While I respect the ruling of the tribunal, I do not accept its decision. I have therefore directed my legal team to appeal the judgement immediately.
“Like we promised during our campaign to defend our votes, we shall fulfill our promise by defending the mandate which the people of Delta Central freely gave to us.
*It is instructive to note that despite the cancellation of the affected units, we are still having an insurmountable lead over our closet opponent.
“As a consequence, we are not perturbed by today’s momentary setback which we shall surely overcome.
“We, therefore, urge our party faithful, supporters, and the great people of Delta Central to remain calm and steadfast, because this also shall end in Praise!