The Delta State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, has dismissed the case filled by Mr. David Ochonogor of the All Progressive Congress, APC, against the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, which joined the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the winner of the 2019 House of Assembly Election of Ukwuani Constituency, Rt. Hon Christopher Ochor Ochor.
In delivering the Judgement, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, the three man panel headed by Justice. E. E. D Ngele, ruled that the case was a pre-election one and the APC had fielded a candidate for the election, in answering the question if the petitioner was unlawfully excluded from the ballot.
The panel stated that before the petitioner got his judgement in the Supreme court as the rightful candidate for the APC, the election had already been conducted and a winner declared, as such he cannot comeback to the tribunal to restore back his candidacy as a result of unlawful exclusion.
This is because the law allows only for election matters to either run from the regular court to Supreme Court or from the Tribunal to the Appeal court.
It could be recalled that prior to the 2019.election, the APC had faction issues, which led to multiple candidate in the state, but the Supreme Court had however given judgement in Ochonohor’s favour as the rightful candidate of APC, for the Ukwuani state Constituency, instead of Mr. Eze Omolu, who eventually participated as the APC candidate in the March 9, Delta State House of Assembly election.
Meanwhile, Rt. Hon. Ochor Ochor, the Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, has hailed the tribunal judgement, describing it as a laudable one as the panel of Justices, in their wisdom, had ruled that the judgement Mr. David Ochonogor had received in his favour from the Supreme Court was after the elections had been conducted and won.
Rt. Hon. Ochor said his faith in the judiciary had been further confirmed with the tribunal judgement, even as he equally used the occasion to call on the petitioner to join hands with him to move the state constituency forward.
He thanked his teeming supporters for having faith in him and to expect better representation from him, in return for the trust and confidence they reposed in his ability to deliver the dividends of democracy to them, with their mandate.
The Tribunal judgment expectedly threw the camp of Hon. Ochor Ochor into great jubilation and one of the elated jubilants, Mr. Chukwuemeke Osemeke, commenting on the legal triumph, said the ruling was a clear case of justice for the common man, adding that the winner of the 2019 election, Rt. Hon Christopher Ochor Ochor, can not now be made a victim to bear the brunt of the pain which the petitioner, David Ochonogor, had suffered from his party, the APC and their fictionalized primaries.