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I Remain Senator-elect, Omo-Agege, Tells Court

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Barely 24 hours after the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, sacked the Prophet Jones Ode-Erue-led All Progressives Congress (APC), Delta State Chapter, the faction the member and senator-elect for Delta Central, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege pitched tent with, Omo-Agege, said the court erred in her judgement.

Omo-Agege, who is affected by the judgement, having emerged as the senatorial candidate of the party from the Erue-led faction, boasted that he remains the senator-elect and there was nothing anyone can do to change that fact.

The lawmaker in a statement signed by his Senior Special Adviser, Communications & Strategy to Senator, Godwin Anaughe noted that the court erred in her judgement.

Omo-Agege added that him and the House of Representatives member-elect for Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu Federal Constituency, Rev. Francis Ejiroghene Waive were not joined in the suit, thus the judgement is not binding on them.

According to him, “The judgement by Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba may give some joy to the plaintiffs and their supporters but will not and cannot alter the status quo. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege remains the Senator-Elect and Rev Francis Ejiroghene Waive remains the Member-Elect of the Federal House of Representatives.

“First, the electoral college that elected Senator Omo-Agege and Rev. Waive as APC candidates in the just concluded 2019 general elections came into being by virtue of a consent judgement that has not been set aside.

“It is still a valid, subsisting judgement until it is set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction, therefore, their election into their respective positions remains valid.

“Second, there is no consequential order made by Justice Toyin Adegoke for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return duly issued to Senator Omo-Agege and Rev. Waive and to be re-issued to those who are now parading themselves as the valid candidates for the just concluded 2019 general elections, neither was there any order made against the persons of Distinguished Senator Omo-Agege and Rev. Francis Waive, as they were not parties to the suit and as such are not bound by the said judgement.

“Third, the Court in today’s judgement in its wisdom held that the consent judgement is not binding on Cyril Ogodo and co. because they were not parties to that suit, it becomes trite that today’s judgement also cannot bind on Senator Omo-Agege and Rev. Waive because they were also not joined as parties to this present suit.”

The Senator further stated that the consent judgement from where the Erue-led executives emerged has not been challenged at a superior court, therefore the Monday’s judgement by Justice Adegoke is of no value.

“Further to this, the Court therefore cannot make any declaratory orders against them. See OKONTA VS PHILIPS (2010) 18 NWLR ( Pt 1225) 320 SC.

“Fourth, the National Working Committee ( NWC) of APC, under the directive of the National Executive Committee ( NEC) of the party is the only organ that is saddled with the responsibility of organizing party primaries for the purpose of nominating and sponsoring candidates for elections and not one Mefor Progress, an individual, as Justice Toyin Adegoke wrongly held in her judgement.

“Finally, it is imperative to state emphatically that the consent judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that gives validity to the Jones Ode Erue led Exco is a final judgement of Court like any other judgement, and it is valid and subsisting until it is appealed against and set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“The Asaba Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to sit as an Appellant Court over a consent judgement delivered by a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

“Consequently Prophet Jones Ode Erue & his Exco remains the valid and authentic Executives of Delta State APC.

“The judgement delivered today by Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court 1, Asaba is therefore of no consequence”, the statement added.

It would be recall that the federal high court sitting in Asaba Monday sacked the Prophet Jones Ode-Erue-led APC faction and declared that the Chief Cyril Ogodo-led faction is the authentic state executive.