The Court of Appeal, Asaba Division has set aside the judgement of the National and State Houses of Assembly election petitions Tribunal and upheld the victory of Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas as the winner of the 25th February, 2023 Delta South Senatorial District election.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, stated that the five issues Appeal filled by the Delta South Senator, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, was meritorious, declaring that the earlier judgement given by the Tribunal is hereby set aside.
The Court therefore awarded N250,000 against Michael Diden (aka Ejele) and the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP).
In a related development, the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos, has also upheld the election of Senator Ede Dafinone representing Delta Central Senatorial District against the PDP candidate, Chief Igboyota Amori.
In the same vien, the Court of Appeal has affirmed the Tribunal judgment declaring Prince Ned Nwoko of the People’s Democratic party PDP, legitimate winner of Delta North senatorial election.
The court sitting in Lagos dismissed the appeals of Peter Nwaoboshi of the All Progressives Congress,APC and Labour Party candidate, Ken Kanma for lack of merit.
The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Asaba, Delta State, had earlier ruled in September that Prince Ned Nwoko overwhelmingly won the February 25, 2023 Delta North 2023 senatorial election.
Similarly, the Appeal Court in Lagos, also on Wednesday, set side the tribunal judgment which earlier nullified the election of member representing Udu/Ughelli North/South Federal Constituency, Rev. Francis Ejiroghene Waive against the PDP candidate, Solomon Awhinawhi.
The lower court had ruled that Waive was not qualified to contest the 2023 general elections because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to publish his educational qualifications which were submitted to INEc as required by law.
Waive, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenged the tribunal’s verdict, arguing that he submitted all the necessary documents to INEC and that the non-publication of his qualifications on the INEC portal was not his fault and that it’s not a ground known to law for the nullification of an election.
In a unanimous judgement delivered on Wednesday, in the case with suit number: CA/AS/EP/ HR/ DL/17/23, WAIVE EJIROGHENE VS. SOLOMON AWHINAWHI & 3 ORS, the appellate court upheld Waive’s appeal and dismissed the cross-appeal filed by his opponent, Solomon Awhinawhi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The Court granted all the reliefs sorted by Waive and awarded N500,000 each as cost against Solomon Awhinawhi, PDP and INEC.
The court held that the non-publication of Waive’s qualifications by INEC was not a ground for disqualification and that there was no evidence to prove that he forged or falsified any document.
The court also affirmed Waive’s victory at the polls, saying that he scored the highest number of valid votes cast in the constituency.