The Appellate Court faulted earlier judgment by the tribunal as it determined that LP’s Okolie was duly nominated by his party and that he resigned his appointment as required by the constitution.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has set aside the verdict of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Asaba, which had earlier declared Rep. Ndudi Elumelu, the duly elected member representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State, in the House of Representatives.
In two judgments, the appellate court declared Rep. Ngozi Okolie of the Labour Party (LP) as the winner of the February 25 election.
It faulted the tribunal for voiding Okolie’s election and proceeded to dismiss the petition filed by Elumelu before the trial tribunal on which the voided judgment was given.
The court agreed with counsel to the Labour Party, Mahmud Magaji, that contrary to the findings of the tribunal, Okolie was duly nominated and sponsored by his party, and that he resigned his appointment as a Senior Special Assistant to the Delta State Government as required by the Constitution.
Recall that Elumelu, in a petition filed before the panel with case number EPT/DL/HR/06/2023, argued that Mr. Okolie’s nomination was not in line with the relevant laws on the election.
He argued that the LP did not duly sponsor Okolie because, at the time of the primary election that produced him as the candidate, he (Okolie) was not a member of the party.
The three-member panel, chaired by A.Z. Mussa, in its ruling, agreed with Elumelu and disqualified the defendant.
The tribunal also ruled that Elumelu be returned as the elected representative for the constituency.