The Court of Appeal, Asaba Division, has set aside the judgement of the National and State Houses of Assembly election petitions tribunal and upheld the victory of Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas as the winner of the February 25 Delta South Senatorial District election.
While delivering the ruling on behalf of the panel, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole said the five issues in the appeal filled by Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas were meritorious, noting that the earlier judgement given by the tribunal was set aside with a cost of N250,000 awarded against Michael Diden aka Ejele and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Michael Diden, aka Ejele and his party, in their petition marked EPT/DT/SEN/ 01/2023, had challenged the victory of the Joel-Onowakpo in the 2023 National Assembly election, asking the tribunal to void the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Joel-Onowakpo as the winner of the 2023 senatorial election.
Diden said Joel-Onowakpo was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the poll.
A three-man panel headed by Justice Cathrine Ogunsola in her ruling had declared that the election that brought in Joel-Onowakpo was inconclusive and therefore ordered the electoral body to conduct a supplementary election in the Warri South council area of Delta South senatorial district within 90 days. But, Joel-Onowakpo had appealed against the judgement.