The Federal High Court sitting in Warri has upheld the candidacy of Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege and the other candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, who emerged through the primaries supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and conducted by the Party’s National working Committee (NWC).
The presiding judge, Justice Emeka Ewite in his judgement delivered on Tuesday struck out the suit filed by the plaintiff, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor challenging the validity of the primary election that produced Sen Omo-Agege.
Justice Ewite struck out the suit on the ground that it is incompetent and lacking in merit.
He noted that Sen. Omo-Agege and Rev. Francis Waive, the winners of the Delta Central Senatorial District and Ughelli/ Udu Federal Constituency respectively, were necessary parties who ought to have been joined to the suit.
The Judge further observed that Emerhor failed to deny the counter-affidavit filed by INEC, that it did not monitor the primary election for which he purportedly emerged.
“Failure to deny the counter-affidavit is an admission which required no further proof that INEC only monitored the primaries in which Sen. Omo-Agege emerged.
“INEC is to supervise or monitor primary elections and not to conduct,” he said.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the judgement, counsel to the APC, Barr Lucky Ajokperiniovo described the court verdict as a landmark for the party and all the candidates that emerged legitimately through the primaries conducted by the APC.
“It is a landmark judgment, the court has again reaffirmed the position of the Supreme Court to say that persons who are not joined as parties to a suit are not bound by the judgement given by that court.
“The Court struck out the suit filed by Emerhor for being incompetent and lacking in merit ”
“The court says Omo-Agege’s primary elections remain the valid and legitimate primary election conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC)/of the APC.
“The consent judgement is a judgement of court that is valid and binding on all persons until it is set aside.
This judgement has given the party huge relief in determining who is the senatorial candidate in the 2019 general election in Delta Central,” he said.
Also, counsel representing INEC, Barr Robert Emukpoeruo said that the national electoral umpire was neutral and impartial.
“It is the statutory duty of the INEC to monitor primary elections and report those who won and their scores.
“The report by INEC shows that Omo-Agege won the primaries conducted by the NWC.
Counsel to Emerhor, Mr GC Igbokwe in his remark said, “We are happy with the judgment,” he said.
Recalled that Sen. Omo-Agege who is the incumbent senator representing the Delta Central at the upper legislative chamber was re-elected in the recent National Assembly elections.