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Court upholds Ogodo-led Delta APC executive, sacks Ogboru, others

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A Federal High Court, sitting in Asaba, yesterday sacked the Jones Erue-led executive of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced Great Ogboru, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and others for the 2019 elections.

This is coming barely 10 days after lossing the gubernatorial election in the state to the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

The court presided by Justice Tosin Adegoke upheld the Cyril Ogodo-led state executives, especially Ogodo, as state Chairman of the party who was sworn in by the immediate past National Chairman of APC, John Odigie-Oyegun.

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But in his reaction, Legal Adviser of the Erue-led executive, Ebata Onojeghuo, said, “The judgment was inconsequential, because the consent judgment they got from a Federal High Court in Abuja was not set aside.

He added that, “All actions taken by the Erue-led executive including nomination of candidates, were empowered by the consent judgment.”

In suit number FA/ASA/CS/76/2018, the plaintiffs had sought 13 reliefs among, which is, “A declaration that the Ogodo-led executive committee is the authentic state executive of the party.”

Delivering judgment, the Presiding Judge, Adegoke, said the primary election conducted by the Erue-led executive was null and void and thereby invalidated the nomination of Great Ogboru, Omo-Agege and other candidates nominated by the Erue executive for the 2019 polls.

But counsel to the defendants, Okubor Nwachukwu, said they would go to the court of appeal to challenge the judgment, expressing hope that the ruling would be upturned at the appellate court.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Roland Ekpe, said the judgment did not fall short of expectations, adding that all the nominations done by Erue-led executive in the 2019 general election were null and void.

Responding to the ruling, Ogodo expressed joy that judgment has finally been served on the contentious state executive committee of the party, commending the judge for stance.

“In spite of all the intimidation and frivolous petitions, justice was finally delivered,” he said.

However, the court upheld Professor Pat Utomi, O’tega Emerhor, Ima Rume Niboro and others, as the authentic candidates in the just concluded elections.

By interpretation, Emerhor and Niboro are senator-elect and House of Representative-elect, since the party won those seats in the Delta Central districts, while Omo-Agege’s chances of returning to the Senate remains unsure following the judgement.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Utomi said those who believe in the rule of law and pursue justice with a clean heart, coming to equity with clean hands will be vindicated.

“This is how I view the ruling of the Federal High Court Asaba with Justice Adegoke presiding, which ruled that the Cyril Ogodo-led Executive Committee, which nominated me APC governorship candidate for Delta State is the authentic executive of the party,” he stated.

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