The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has on Sunday, dismissed the petition filed by Mr. John Oyibokwifi, Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), against Hon. Festus Utuama, member representing Ughelli South Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, upholding the legitimacy of Utuama’s victory in the March 18, State House of Assembly elections held in Ughelli Constituency.
The tribunal, led by three renowned justices, dismissed the petition for failure to prove that the election was characterised with irregularities….CONTINUE READING HERE
Oyibokwifi, had alleged various irregularities and electoral malpractices during the voting process but the tribunal found Oyibokwifi’s claims to be unsubstantiated and lacking credible evidence.
One of the lead counsels to Hon. Festus Utuama (3rd respondent), Oghenetega Ikpen Esq who briefed journalists at the court premises said, “the petitioners were not able to prove that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
The documents and evidence they relied on were not valid because they were not properly satisfied, and assuming they were satisfied, there was no evidence that they were paid for.
“There was a result they relied on that they didn’t tender, so the tribunal expunged those set of evidence and documents from the record.
“They were not able to call even one witness to testify in their allegations that Ughelli South Ward 9, Unit 1 to 6 voting processes were characterized by irregularities.
“So the tribunal dismissed their petition because Mr. John Oyibokwifi failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his allegations,” he added.
The ruling has sparked mixed reactions among the constituents of Ughelli South. Supporters of Utuama, who had been eagerly awaiting the tribunal’s decision, expressed relief and hailed the judgment as a validation of the people’s choice.
They believe that Utuama, with his experience and track record, will continue to serve the constituency effectively.
When contacted, Hon. Festus Utuama, Chairman of the House Committee on Oil and Gas of the Delta State House of Assembly, expressed gratitude for the tribunal’s decision and extended an olive branch to Oyibokwifi and his supporters.
Utuama emphasized the need for unity and collaboration among all stakeholders, regardless of political affiliations, to address the challenges facing Ughelli South.
With the tribunal’s dismissal of Oyibokwifi’s petition, Utuama’s victory in the Ughelli South Constituency stands affirmed….CONTINUE READING HERE