APC Moves To Withdraw Petition Over Delta Central Senatorial Bye Election
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, January 08, (THEWILL) - The All Progressives Party (APC) said on Wednesday that it has commenced moves to withdraw its petition against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Asaba, Delta State over the October 12, 2013 bye-election for Delta Central Senatorial District.
The party said it has decided, along with its candidate in the bye election, Mr.
Oghenetega Emerhor, to discontinue further hearing on the petition to enable them pursue a case they filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
In a motion on notice filed by APC counsel , Mr.
Ahweyevu Mukoro, the party relied on paragraph 29 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended to adduce reasons for withdrawing its petition against the declared winner of the election and PDP candidate, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo.
'The petitioners/applicants have found out that the 1st Respondent herein, Aguariavwodo, did not submit his nomination form, Form E.
4 (v) and Affidavit in support of Personal Particulars of persons seeking election to the office/membership of the Senate, Form C.
0001 latest 26-09-2013 as stipulated by the 3rd Respondent (INEC) in the Timetable/Guidelines for the bye-election, the return of which is the subject of the petition.
'That the petitioners/applicants have filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja, Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/873/2013 challenging the candidature of the 1st respondent at the bye-election of 12-10-2013 upon which the 3rd respondent declared Chief Aguariavwodo elected.
'That the issues raised in Suit No FHC/ABC/CS/873/2013 are pre-election matters which cannot be determined by the Election Tribunal, and; 'That retaining this petition after filing Suit No FHC/ABC/CS/873/2013 may raise issue of abuse of the judicial process,' APC said.
Also, the counsel to the litigants, Mukoro, said his clients had instead resolved to focus on the suit pending at the Federal High Court, Abuja, where he said they intended to prove that Aguariavwodo was not a candidate at the said election and that the PDP did not field a valid candidate during the election.
He said his client, Emerhor, being the candidate who scored the highest number of votes at the said election, was the duly elected Senator to represent Delta Central in the Senate.
In the suit pending before the Federal High Court, APC and its candidate, insisted that they have sufficient evidence to prove that the PDP, connived with one Mr.
Olawale Dawodu, who is an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, and smuggled in forged documents it said were relied upon to endorse the nomination form of Aguariavwodo who eventually won the election.
It alleged that in defiance to the time limit that was set by INEC for the submission of nomination forms, PDP not only failed to meet up with the deadline, but allegedly bribed the INEC official to write a false date of receipt on the nomination form of its candidate.
Consequently, the plaintiffs, while contending that Aguariavwodo was not a valid candidate at the said election, applied for an order of the court, directing the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation, to forthwith, prosecute both the PDP, Aguariavwodo and the accused INEC official, Dawodu.
In a 20-paragraphed statement of claim filed in support of the suit, the plaintiffs, further told the court that the 1st defendant, Aguariavwodo's nomination and C.
001 forms, were not submitted to the 3rd defendant (INEC) on the last day of submission of list which was September 26, 2013, '1stdefendant was not validly nominated by the 2nd defendant (PDP) to contest the bye election into the office of Senator for the Delta Central Senatorial District.
'The plaintiffs aver that the failure of the 1st and 2nd defendants to submit the nomination and C.
001 Forms of the 1st defendant to the 3rd defendant latest 26/9/2013 is vital and mandatory condition precedent to 1st defendant subsequent valid participation in the election.
'Notwithstanding the facts that 1st defendant's nomination forms were not received at the close of submission on 26/9/2013, the 3rd defendant invalidly included his name and published it as part of the final list of candidates standing nominated for the bye election of 12/10/2013.
The 1st defendant was not a candidate at the election and should not have been allowed to campaign for votes.
'The 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants made 1st defendant's nomination and forms C.
001 and affidavit in support of personal particulars to bear a false date of reception knowing it to be false and with intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine by the 3rd defendant.
'3rd defendant acted on the said false documents and used it as genuine and passed on 1st defendant as a candidate for the senatorial bye-election, when all defendants knew that 1st defendant was in fact and law not nominated.
'Based on the falsified documents, the 2nd defendant purportedly sponsored the 1st defendant at the election and the 3rd defendant who facilitated the falsification with impunity declared him winner of the election to the office of Senator on 13-10-2013, an election for which he was not a candidate having not submitted his nomination and C.
001 forms latest 26-9-2013.
' The plaintiffs, are among other things, praying for a court order, 'setting aside and directing INEC to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to the 1st defendant upon his purported declaration as the winner of the Senatorial bye election organized by the 3rd defendant into the office of Senator for the Delta Central Senatorial District on 12-10-2013 on the ground that the 1st defendant was not a candidate at the said election as the 1st defendant did not submit his nomination forms by 26-9-2013.
'An order directing the 3rd defendant to immediately issue a certificate of return to the 1st plaintiff as the validly nominated candidate who scored the highest number of votes, 29, 075 at the bye election organized for the Delta Central Senatorial District on 12-10-2013 on the ground that the 1st defendant who the 3rd defendant purportedly declared winner was not a candidate at the election.
'A declaration that the 1st defendant who was purportedly sponsored by the 2nd defendant for the bye election for the Delta Central Senatorial District organized on 12-10-2013 by the 3rd defendant did not comply with section 31(2) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and was not a candidate at the said election on the ground that the list of information submitted by the 1st defendant was not accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the candidate at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
'An order directing the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation, to prosecute the 1st and 2nd defendants and Mr.
Olawale Dawodu an employee of the 3rd defendant for the offences of forgery and any other offences that may be disclosed by their actions, in that the 1st and 2nd defendants and Olawale Dowodu, between September 26 and October 12, at the 3rd defendants office at Abuja, made false documents in writing, knowing them to be false, with intent that they may be used or acted upon by 3rd defendant as genuine to the prejudice of 1st plaintiff and other candidates who contested the bye election of 12-10-2013 to wit, falsely endorsing on 1st defendant nomination form and affidavit in support of personal particulars of person seeking election form a false date of 26-9-2013, contrary to the content of the said documents.