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Okonta Sacked ... Appeal Court Nullifies Election of Okonta ... Kingsley (Agbokigboro) Philips wins... Okonta begs Supreme Court to Reinstate Him

Thursday, 05.13.2010, 11:26pm (GMT+1)

THISDAY (13-05-2010) - The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Wednesday nullified the election of the Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Mr Martins Okonta, on the grounds of illegal substitution.

Delivering judgment, Justice Jimi Bada ordered INEC to retrieve the certificate of return from Okonta of the PDP and issue it to Mr Noye-Kingsley Philips. Bada also directed that Philips, who was proved to be the rightful candidate of the party for the 2007 State Assembly election be sworn in as member of the House by the secretariat of the Delta House of Assembly forthwith.

"This court is compelled to align itself with the decision of the trial court because the evidence supplied by the appellant respondent (Philips) clearly show that Section 34 of the Electoral Act was violated by INEC and Okonta respectively.

"The appellant applicants, INEC and Okonta, are hereby directed to jointly pay the sum of N100,000 to the respondent as compensation for court processes," Bada stated. Mr Ibrahim Idris, Philips' counsel , told newsmen after the judgment that his client clearly won the primaries

He said that the leadership of the party, in a clandestine arrangement with INEC, replaced him (Philips). "Being a pre-election matter, wisdom demands that we wait until the election was conducted before approaching the regular court and not the Election Tribunal.

"We thank God that the decision of the trial court is now upheld, this will definitely serve as a deterrent to politicians who use money to lay ambush to collect other people's mandate," he said. Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Okonta's counsel, who lamented the court's decision, said the judgment would be challenge.

Meanwhile, Okonta has already appealed the judgement.

 

 

Sacked Delta Speaker Asks Supreme Court to Reinstate Him - Vanguard

Less than 24 hours after the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal sacked him from office, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Martin Okonta, Thursday, approached the Supreme Court with a notice of appeal, requesting it to upturn the verdict of the court which removed him from office.

Okonta, who hired the Chambers of Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), to prosecute the appeal at the apex court, also filed a separate motion before the Court of Appeal which sacked him, seeking an order of injunction staying the execution of its judgment delivered on 12 May, pending hearing and determination of the appeal against its judgment.

The lawmaker said he had a right of appeal to the Supreme Court in the case, the matter being a pre-election case.

Indeed, the last bus-stop in pre-election matters is the Supreme Court.

Okonta gave six major reasons why the verdict of the Court of Appeal must be upturned, including that the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, was in conflict with the one earlier, given by its Benin division and that the Abuja division of the court shut him out of the case and was, therefore, not given fair-hearing before judgment was given in the case.

In the fresh suit before the Court of Appeal, Abuja, Okonta is seeking an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the ruling PDP from taking any step on the matter until his appeal at the Supreme Court is determined.





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