Court of Appeal sacks Elumelu, declares LP candidate winner of Delta Reps seat

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Ndudi Elumelu and affirmed the Labour Party flag bearer, Ngozi Okolie, as the winner of the 2023 election for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Delta State.

The Court of Appeal in a judgment on Thursday set aside the ruling of the national and state houses of the assembly election tribunal in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

The tribunal had initially declared Elumelu as the winner but the appellate court has now affirmed Okolie as the duly elected lawmaker.

The former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives had filed a petition before the tribunal praying it to disqualify Okolie.

Elumelu, in the petition no EPT/DL/HR/06/2023, argued that Okolie was not properly sponsored by LP, and that he did not resign his position as a public officer.

Earlier on July 24, while removing Okolie who won the election by a landslide, the three-man panel of Tribunal judges led by Justice A. Z. Mussa declared Elumelu, who came a distant second as the winner.

On August 28, the Court of Appeal sitting in Asaba heard the appeal filed by Okolie against the decision of the Tribunal that declared Elumelu as the winner.

Okolie, however, faulted the judgment of the tribunal that annulled her election, calling it unlawful, saying it had no legal basis.

The court agreed with the Labour Party’s lawyer, Mahmud Magaji, that contrary to the finding of the tribunal, Okolie was duly nominated and sponsored by her party and that she resigned her appointment as a Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Government as required by the constitution.