Court sacks Delta North senator-elect, Nwaoboshi

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi in court
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sacked Peter Nwaoboshi, the senator-elect for Delta North District.

Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Ned Nwoko challenging the election of Nwaoboshi as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the October 2, 2018 primaries of the party held in Delta.

The court held that Mr Nwaoboshi, a serving senator, was not the duly elected candidate of the PDP in the primary election.

Mr Mohammed ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Mr Nwoko as PDP candidate, having established before the court that he scored the highest number of votes in the said primary election.

The court also barred Mr Nwaoboshi from parading himself as the candidate of the PDP for the senatorial zone.

Mr Nwoko through his counsel, Ahmed Raji, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had dragged INEC, the PDP, and Mr Nwaoboshi to court praying for an order to prohibit the electoral body from publishing the name of Mr Nwaoboshi as the candidate for Delta North Senatorial District.

He also asked for a separate order compelling PDP to forward his name to INEC as the authentic candidate of the party for the senatorial area.

In his suit predicated on seven grounds, 20 paragraphs affidavit evidence and five exhibits, Mr Nwoko claimed that he was screened and cleared to contest the primary election by the PDP electoral committee.

He also claimed that at the end of the election, he scored 453 votes to beat Mr Nwaoboshi to the second position who scored 405 votes while another contestant, Paul Osaji, came third with 216 votes.

Mr Nwoko told the court that he was surprised that the PDP jettisoned the result of the primary election and forwarded the name of Mr Nwaobosi to INEC as its candidate for the senatorial district.

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He further alleged that all efforts to redress the injustice through the PDP appeal panel proved abortive.

In their defence, the three respondents; INEC, PDP and Mr Nwaoboshi urged the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it was not filed within the time allowed by law.

They said that based on that ground, the suit was status barred and also constituted an abuse of court process, the plaintiff having filed a similar suit at the FCT High Court which was struck out upon its withdrawal.

Justice Mohammed after reviewing the claims and counterclaims of parties, held that the case of the plaintiff was not status barred and did not also amount to forum shopping as alleged by the defendants.

The judge held that Mr Nwoko was entitled to his claims and prayers having established that he emerged victorious in the PDP Delta North Senatorial primary election of October 2, 2018. (NAN)

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