Indication emerged to point to the fact that the crisis in the Delta State Chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may be far from being over despite all the efforts made at settling the face off between the factions in the run up to the general elections. More uncertainty lurked after the Appeal Court has taken a strong decision in the case involving Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta Central.
Recall that the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin, the Edo State Capital, yesterday dismissed an exparte motion filed by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege seeking a leave of court to appeal the Federal High Court judgment, which sacked the Prophet Jones Erue-led faction of the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced his candidacy.
It also dismissed a suit filed by the House of Representatives-elect, Rev Francis Ejiroghene Waive.
Justice Philomena Mbua Ekpe in her ruling dismissed both applications for lacking in merit and fined them N300, 000 each. The court held that the plaintiffs could not claim to be unaware of the case thus could not seek to be joined or challenge the judgment at this moment.
Omo-Agege and Waive, whose candidacy had earlier been annulled by the Federal High Court, Asaba may have to rely on the party at the National level who are party to the case to appeal the judgment.
Before now, Omo-Agege had insisted that the ruling of the High Court on the matter did not in any way affect his candidacy and his victory too. In fact, there were speculations that he was also eying the post of the Senate President should the APC zone it to the South South region. However, as it stands now, things have taken a different turn. No one knows the next action politician may decide to take on the matter and what outcome it would produce.
In another development earlier, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has made a bold move in a bid to save his seat in the state.
Governor Oyetola filed a 39-ground notice at the Court of Appeal, Abuja to upturn the March 22, 2019 ruling of the Osun governorship petitions tribunal nullifying his victory at September 22 and 27, 2018 polls in the state.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate was returned with 255,505 votes against the 255,023 ballots polled by his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Senator Ademola Adeleke. But in a split decision of two to one, the tribunal voided Oyetola’s triumph and declared the PDP standard-bearer as winner of the exercise before asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a certificate of return.
Justices Peter Obiora and Anyinla Gbolagunte ruled against the governor, nullifying the September 27 supplementary election while the panel chair, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo dissented, dismissing Adeleke’s petition for lack of merit.
In the notice of appeal filed by his team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Oyetola faulted the judgment on the grounds that it was “perverse, replete with contradictions and not supported by evidence led by the petitioners.”He prayed the court to uphold his appeal, set aside the ruling and dismiss the October 16, 2018 petition by the PDP and Adeleke.
In a similar vein, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has said he was unperturbed by the decision of his opponent, Senator Jeremiah Useni of the PDP, to challenge the outcome of the 2019 gubernatorial polls in court.
The governor stated that he had long prepared for such long before the elections, adding that his priority was to continue with ongoing projects. He thanked the people for the confidence reposed in him.The APC scored 583,255 votes to better PDP’s 538,326 tally.
All eyes are on the Court to know the fate of the state and the next development on the matters involving those who still want to appeal earlier decisions or challenge the opponent’s victory at the poll.
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