Posted by News Express | 10 January 2014 | 3,679 times
The National Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, this morning struck out the petition brought before it by Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the recent Delta Central Senatorial by-election. Aguariavwodo won the election.
Emerhor had applied to withdraw the petition on the grounds that he has filed another suit at the Federal High Court Abuja in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/873/2013 challenging the eligibility of Aguariavwodo in what has been described as a pre-election matter.
When the matter came up for hearing this morning, the tribunal presided over by Hon. Justice M. I. Sirajo accordingly struck out the petition as the defence team did not oppose it. The tribunal also awarded a cost of N100,000, against the petitioner.
Speaking to journalists after the pronouncement in Asaba, lawyer to Senator Aguariavwodo, Mr. Ekeme Ohwovoriole, described it as a welcomed development, saying he was not surprised as the petition lacked merit.
“The matter has come to an end with the withdrawal and subsequent striking out of the petition with cost. It was obvious that it was a frivolous matter but, of course, we still have to go to court, put in your defence and allow the court to decide one way or another. Once they saw our defence, they knew there was no hope for their case. So, we are not surprised that they have thrown in the towel and applied to withdraw from the petition. We did not oppose it but ask for cost. So the court just struck out the petition,” he said.
On the prospect of the new suit in Abuja, Ohwovoriole said it smacks of a man grasping at every available straw to survive, promising to meet them in Abuja.
His words: “We will meet them in Abuja but I won’t be surprised if they withdraw again because if you claim that it is a pre-election matter, then you ought to know when to file it before the court.
“The matter is still in court and we are enjoined not to say much about a matter in court. In fact, we have only read it in the papers. As we speak, they have not served us the necessary papers.”
Emerhor had gone to the tribunal challenging the victory of Senator Aguariavwodo at the by-election to fill the vacant senatorial seat occasioned by the sudden death of Senator Pius Ewhwerido last year.
•Photo shows Olorogun O’tega Emerhor.
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