Following the decision by the NASS Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba which had nullified the election of James Manager, lawmaker representing Delta South Senatorial district and instead called for a re-run within 90 days, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election and former Delta Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan has vowed to challenge the judgement at the Court of Appeal asking to be declared as senator-elect.
Reacting to the judgement, he said the tribunal ought to have declared him as the outright winner of the Delta South election.
The tribunal chairman, Justice O. O. Onyeabo, gave the ruling on Saturday. It would be recalled Manager was elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and his election had since been challenged at the tribunal by Uduaghan.
The tribunal panel consisting of Justice C.O Onyeaba, (Abia), Justice D. A. Oyegbemi (Nasarawa) and Justice S.N.J Usman (Kogi) established that there was substantial non-compliance with INEC electoral guidelines in some parts of Delta South Senatorial District and connivance among security agencies, staff of INEC and agents of the People’s Democratic Party to massively cause over voting in favour of the PDP candidate.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by his media assistant, Mr Monoyo Edoh, the former governor, however, thanked the tribunal for affirming that the election that produces Manager as senator was marred by massive rigging and othet electoral malpractices.
Uduaghan, while hailing the judgement, insisted that he won the Delta South Senatorial election with valid votes recorded during the election.
According to him, “While we are happy with the tribunal’s judgement which affirmed my party’s position that the election was rigged and characterized with electoral over voting, we are not entirely satisfied with the judgement as the tribunal ought to have deducted the excess illegal votes and declared me and my party rightful winner of the election.
“In view of this, we shall be challenging the tribunal’s judgement at the Appeal Court to declare us as the outight winner of the February 23rd, 2019 National Assembly Election for Delta South Senatorial District.”
The former governor in the statement thanked the people of Delta South and supporters, whom he said had been waiting for the outcome of the judgement.
Uduaghan, however, dedicated the victory to the people of Delta South assuring of victory at the Court of Appeal.