Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, has upheld the victory of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Senator James Manager at the election petition tribunal.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege represents Delta Central Senatorial District while Manager represents Delta South Senatorial District in the Senate.
Omo-Agege defeated Hon. Evelyn Oboro of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), while Manager of the PDP, floored Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal in Asaba, Delta State, had in September, in a judgment delivered by Justice O. O Onyeabo, ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return, issued to Sen. James Manager and conduct a rerun election owning to the claim by the petitioner Emmanuel Uduaghan, who alleged over voting.
However, in an appeal filed by Manager, the three-man appeal panel led by Justice Jaro Adamu, set aside the judgment of the tribunal ordering for re-run election, saying the claims of Uduaghan where mere allegations and not adequately substantiated.
The appellate court also dismissed the appeal filed before it by Evelyn Oboro against Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for lack of merit.
The court also upheld the election of Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi (PDP), representing Warri federal constituency in Delta State against the appeal of Hon Daniel Reyenieju of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In a related development, the Appeal Court also dismissed the appeal filed by Joel Onowakpor (APC) against the member representing Isoko Federal Constituency, Leo Ogor (PDP).
Joel had approached the court on grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.
The court resolved against the appellants and delivered judgement in favour of the respondents, Leo Ogor and the PDP.
Similarly, the court struck out the appeal filed by the former speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya (APC) against the current member representing Okpe/Uvwie and Sapele federal constituency, Efe Afe (PDP).
Counsel to the Deputy Senate President, Selekeowe Larry (SAN), while speaking to newsmen, said the judgment by the Appeal Court had further rekindled the hope of the common man who may want to seek legal redress anytime anyway.