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Delta South Senatorial Seat: Joel-Onowakpo Thomas Reacts To Tribunal Verdict



Delta South Senatorial Seat: Joel-Onowakpo Thomas Reacts To Tribunal Verdict

By Daniel Dafe

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas representing the people of Delta South Senatorial District in the Red Chamber, has reacted to the judgment of the National Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State that declared the February 25, 2023 National Assembly election held in Delta South Senatorial district inconclusive.

It also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct supplementary re-run election in the contentious Warri South Local Government Area of the State.

Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Micheal Diden had brought a petition before the tribunal challenging the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Joel Onowakpo-Thomas as winner of the election by INEC.

Diden who challenged the cancellation of election results in Warri South INEC had prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the polls or alternatively, declare the election inconclusive and order a supplementary rerun election in the council area.

While the second respondent (Onowakpor-Thomas) alleged diversion of BVAS machines and irregularities in the said local government area, the petitioner said elections were held peacefully in the council area but we’re unlawfully cancelled.

The petitioner also argued that the result of the presidential and Hose of Representatives elections which held simultaneously with that of the Senate, were not cancelled, adding that it was the same process of accreditation and voting that applied for the three elections.

Delivering it’s judgement, the three-member tribunal headed by Justice Cathrine Ogunsola granted the petitioner’s alternate relief.

Ogunsola said the second respondent could not prove that there were irregularities that warranted the cancellation of the election results.

She said: “The tribunal declares that the second respondent was not duly elected or returned by majority of lawful votes in Delta South Senatorial district on 25th February, 2023

“The tribunal declares that elections held in Delta South were inconclusive and a supplementary re-run election be held in Warri South Local Government Area.

“The tribunal hereby set aside the Certificate of Returns issued to the second respondent by the first respondent in respect in respect of the February 23rd election into the Senate for Delta South senatorial district having not been duly elected.”

The tribunal also ordered the first respondent “to not later than 90 days from today, conduct a supplementary re-run election in Warri South Local Government Area and declare whoever wins and issue such a person with Certificate of Returns.”

But, reacting, Joel-Onowakpo Thomas said he is aware of the development.

He continued: “Though we are yet to receive the certified true copy of the judgement, preliminary brief suggested sufficient grounds for appeal which will give us victory.”

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Furthermore, he said: “As I consult the leadership of our party and my legal team, be rest assured that, we will appeal this judgement and we will do everything within our God given grace to defend our mandate.”

He urged his teeming supporters and APC faithful in the said Senatorial District to “remain calm and show brotherly love to one another.”

“Be rest assured that, by God’s grace, the mandate you gave to me at the polls will be defended and I will remain your Senator now and for the next four years,” he added.


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