By Our Reporter
The news emanating from the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja is a palatable one for Hon Ned Nwoko as the court sacked Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, the senator-elect, for Delta North district.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Ned Nwoko to challenge the election of Nwaoboshi as the PDP candidate in the October 2, 2018 primary of the party held in Delta, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that Nwaoboshi, a serving senator, was not the duly elected candidate of the PDP in the primary election.
The Judge also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the name of Nwoko as the PDP candidate, having established before the court that he scored the highest number of votes in the said primary election.
The court also barred Nwaoboshi from parading himself as the PDP candidate for the district.
Nwoko, through his counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), had filed a suit against Nwaoboshi seeking an order to prohibit INEC from publishing Nwaoboshi’s name as the PDP candidate for Delta North senatorial district. He also asked for a separate order mandating PDP to submit his name to INEC as the authentic PDP candidate for the district.
The suit was filed on seven grounds, 20-paragraph affidavit evidence, and five exhibits, in which Nwoko claimed that he was screened and cleared to contest the primary election by the PDP electoral committee.
He said he scored 453 votes, while Nwaoboshi scored 405 votes. Paul Osaji came third with 216 votes. He, however, said it came as a surprise that Nwaoboshi’s name was submitted as the party’s candidate for the district, stating that efforts to address the situation within the party failed.
However, the three respondents, INEC, PDP and Nwaoboshi, based their defence on the claim that the suit was not filed within the legally-stipulated time, and urged the court to dismiss the case.
However, after reviewing the claims and counter-claims of the parties in the suit, Justice Mohammed ruled that the case of the plaintiff was not status-barred and did not amount to forum shopping as alleged by the defendants.
He held that Nwoko was entitled to his claims and prayers, having established that he emerged victorious in the PDP primary election.