By Egbe John Okpabi
In an unsparing judgement, the Oju/Obi Federal House of Assembly Election Petition sitting, today between 7:00 am to 11:30 am, held at Court 8, High Court Makurdi, declared Rt. Hon. Samson Okwu as the valid winner and thereby order that the certificate of return should be given (swabbed) to Hon. Samson Okwu.
The Election Tribunal which was upheld by three Judges whose names are onanimous for now, ruled that it was unlawful (not right) for the returning officer to declare Evang. David Ogewu as a winner upon a single local government result.
In the majority judgment delivered by Justice Adeleye, the tribunal declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party’, Hon. Samson Okwu victorious against Evang. David Ogewu based on the exhibits presented before the court.
The court ruling based on the exhibits states that, the exhibit for the invalid voters card presented by the respondent remains dormant as they are no provable evidence.
The exhibit P47 presented by the petitioner shows that the election was duely conducted in Obi Local government Area of Benue State.
The court failed to established criminal element in obi area council and that the returning officer has no right to announce the result of a single local government as the case of Oju obi which Oju result was announced in favour of Evang. David Ogewu.
The court in her final statement said “the the respondent was not validly elected, therefore, the of People’s Democratic Party should hereby be issued the returning certificate”.
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