Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The desire of the immediate-past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, to contest the Delta South senatorial district election on Saturday may have suffered some setback as an Abuja Federal High Court has reportedly nullified the primary election that produced him as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The court held that the said primary election of the APC in Delta South did not conform with the mandatory provisions of Section 87 (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Electoral Act, as amended, and ordered APC to conduct a fresh exercise to be monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In suit number FCT/HC/CV/017/18, the claimant, retired Air Vice Marshal Terry, Omatsola Okorodudu approached the court seeking nullification of the primary election on the grounds that he and other aspirants were allegedly excluded from the exercise.
Joined in the suit as the first defendant is the APC while INEC is the second defendant.
But Dr. Uduaghan insisted that he remains the candidate of the APC for Delta South senatorial district, noting that a man’s head cannot be shaved in his absence as he was neither a party to the suit nor joined in it.
Uduaghan in a statement by his Media Assistant, Monoyo Edon, stated that no court disqualified him from the senatorial election, maintaining that he was never aware of the case.
“The court had at no time ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of Dr. Uduaghan from the list of candidates in the election.
“Dr. Uduaghan has instructed his lawyers to take necessary legal steps on the matter, even as he enjoins APC party faithful and supporters to come out en-masse to vote the party and all its candidates to victory in the elections.
“We wish to state categorically that Dr. Uduaghan remains the candidate of the APC for Delta South and we are confident of winning the election,” the statement read.
Okorodudu had described the controversial primary election as shameful, criminal and abuse of democratic culture, regretting that the process preceding the exercise was tortuous and at the end, the election did not happen.
He contended that the decision to clear only Uduaghan for the election and making him a sole candidate and leading to an affirmation and not election, was outrightly fraudulent because, according to him, no fair opportunity was given to other aspirants.
“The decision to clear only Uduaghan is ridiculous; there was no explanation for that and basically it was a vexing experience.”