Appeal court sacks Elumelu, reinstates LP candidate as winner of Delta Reps seat

Abuja—The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside the judgment of the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal in Asaba, which The tribunal had declared Ndudi Elumelu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as winner of the 2023 election for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Delta State.

The the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Ngozi Okolie of the Labour Party (LP) as winner of the election.

But Elumelu had challenged Okolie’s victory in court, leading to the loss of the LP candidate at the tribunal.

According to the Daily Trust, the Appeal Court faulted the tribunal for voiding Okolie’s election and proceeded to dismiss the petition filed by Elumelu.

The development comes after LP expressed concern over the spate of judgments churned out at the various tribunals where several of its elected members at the National Assembly were sacked.

National Chairman of the party, Barrister Julius Abure, said on Tuesday in a statement that the tribunals rulings against its elected lawmakers is unjust and contravened established jurisprudence.

“We are worried because the reasons for reversing our victories are matters that have been settled by the superior courts in the past.

“It is even incomprehensible and ludicrous when different tribunals give conflicting and diverse judgements on thesame matter, a matter that has since been ruled by the Supreme Court and very recently at the Presidential Election Petition Court in APC v Peter Obi.

“The courts have in a plethora of cases held that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party,” Abure said.

He said that the issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts, as it is only a political party that can determine who its members are and who their flag bearer for an election should be.

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