By Edeki Igafe
A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba on Monday voided the participation of Chief Great Ogboru as the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Delta.
The court presided over by Justice Toyin Adegoke also sacked the Mr Jones Erue-led executive of the party in the state, thereby worsening the leadership crises that has rocked the party in Delta since last year.
The court’s decision followed the case filed by the Chief Cyril Ogodo-led faction of the party, urging the court to recognise it as the authentic APC executive.
The Ogodo-led faction had also urged the court to sack the Erue-led executive which produced Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the party’s governorship and Senatorial candidates respectively.
The judgment also affected the election of a member of the House of Representatives, Mr Francis Waiva and the election of three members of the state House of Assembly, having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led state executives.
Also affected are the nomination of the immediate past governor of the state and senatorial candidate for Delta South, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta north senatorial candidate, Doris Uboh among others.
The court similarly upheld the full template of the Ogodo faction’s candidates, including Prof. Pat Utomi, Olorogun Otega Emerhor, Olorogun Ima Niboro as the party’s authentic candidates in the just concluded elections.
The Ogodo faction fielded Emerhor for the Delta Central Senatorial District election and Niboro for the Ughelli North/South/Udu Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives.
In his swift reaction, counsel to the defendants, Dr. Okubor Nwachukwu, said the judgment would be tested at the Court of Appeal, expressing confidence that it would be upturned at the appellate court.
On his part, counsel to the plaintiffs, Roland Ekpe said the judgment did not fall short of their expectations, noting that by implication, the nomination of candidates who flew the flag of the party in the 2019 general elections is null and void having emerged from the primaries conducted by the Erue-led executive.