The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday 12, September, 2023, ordered a rerun in 48 polling units in 4 local government areas of Delta Central Senatorial District in the February 25 National Assembly election.
Justice W. I. Kpochi, while delivering the judgement in a petition marked EPT/DT/Sen/2023 filed by the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ighoyota Amori, dismissed some of the prayers in the petition for lacking in merit.
The 48 polling units where the tribunal declared rerun are in Sapele, Okpe, Udu and Ughelli North local government areas.
The Kpochi-led panel submitted that the 2nd respondent through his witnesses, failed to disprove the allegations that the election did not meet electoral act and constitutional requirements, as well as manual voting procedure.
The chairman of the tribunal equally said that the respondent could not disprove the allegation of electoral malpractices as alleged by the petitioner.
The tribunal said that the prayer of Amori that the victory of Senator Ede Dafinone be declared null, void and of no consequence, as well as, alternative prayer that he should be declared the winner of the senatorial election could not stand or be granted for lack of merit therefore both parties should go for a rerun in the aforementioned 23 polling Units and where there was inconclusive in the February 28 Senatorial election in Delta Central.
This online medium gathered that the total number of polling Units in the Senatorial District are 2,180.
In an interview with journalists shortly after the tribunal judgement, a chieftain of the APC, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, said the judgement would be reviewed.
Akpeki said, “We will review the judgement and seek advice from our counsel on the next course of action. We will apply for the judgement to test it. The Tribunal has right to be wrong but we have the right too to approach the Court of Appeal to correct the wrong.”
Also reacting, a PDP Chieftain, Chief Julius Akpovoka, described the verdict as a victory for democracy and a confirmation of the position of the law on the matter.
Meanwhile, the tribunal upheld the election of the member representing Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Benedict Etanabene.
While validating the election of Etanabene who was the candidate of the Labour Party, LP, for the February 25 polls in the constituency, the tribunal dismissed the petition brought before it by the candidate of the PDP, Evelyn Oboro for lack of merit.