Court sacks Nwaoboshi, orders INEC to announce Nwoko as senator-elect
A Federal High Court Abuja yesterday sacked representative of Delta North Senatorial district, Peter Nwaoboshi as senator-elect, saying available evidence from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries showed that Ned Nwoko won.
The court, therefore, ruled that Nwoko was the authentic candidate of PDP for the 2019 senatorial election.Presiding Judge, Justice A.R. Mohammed delivered the judgment, which lasted for about two hours.He also ordered PDP and INEC to immediately publish Nwoko’s name as PDP’s authentic candidate for scoring majority of votes cast in the primary election for Delta North Senatorial district.
Justice Mohammed also ordered Peter Nwaoboshi to henceforth stop parading himself as senator-elect.Dissecting all matters in contention, the judge argued that the onus lied on PDP and Nwaoboshi as second and third defendants to prove that Nwaoboshi actually won the primaries by producing the election materials, but he refused to respect a court order to produce the ballot papers.He noted that evidences provided by the plaintiff proved that Nwoko won the PDP primary election held on October 2, 2019, while maintaining that constitutional provisions were followed in filing a substantive suit against the first, second and third defendants in the matter.
Speaking to newsmen immediately after the judgement, lead counsel to Nwoko, Barrister Onyeka Nwaokolo described the ruling as a landmark judgment.“The summary of the matter is to tell politicians that manipulation of the electoral processes was no longer in vogue because winning election through dubious mean could always be quashed except cases not properly challenged,” he said.
He affirmed that the second and third defendants openly denied in court that exhibits tendered were not certified true copies of the ballot papers used for the primaries, even when they could not produce any other evidences to prove their case.“The judgement shows that there is hope for the common. It is a landmark judgement, which has further deepened our democratic process,” he added.However, Nwaoboshi’s counsel, Emmanuel Enoiden, who came to court with other lawyers, declined comments on the ruling.
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