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DELTA PDP ASKS COURT TO DISQUALIFY OGBORU FROM DELTA RERUN POLLS

By NBF News
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CHAIRMAN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Peter Nwaoboshi, has urged a Federal High Court in Abuja to disqualify governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Great Ogboru, from tomorrow's rerun election for allegedly presenting invalid nomination form-EC 4B (IV) – to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In Nwaoboshi's suit filed on his behalf by Peter Mrakpor on December 23, 2010, INEC; the Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC); Ogboru; and the DPP are joined as co-defendants. Nwaoboshi alleged that Ogboru's nomination form dated February 11, 2007, was not submitted to INEC within 120 days in compliance with Section 32 (1) (2) of the Electoral Act, 2006.

Nwaoboshi is further asking the court to hold that Ogboru's nomination form is invalid on the grounds that the form is not duly completed by 50 nominators who are registered voters as statutorily required by Section 33 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2006. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Mrs. Nkem Madeiza, the running-mate of the late Mr. Felix Azorbo, the Republican Party of Nigeria's (RPN's) governorship candidate in the court-annulled 2007 polls, had also urged a Federal High Court in Asaba to restrain INEC from recognising Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege and Mrs. Carolina Enuha as its standard-bearers in the rerun.

Madeiza, in the suit before Justice Ibrahim Buba, is asking the court to hold that she is the only eligible candidate of the RPN to contest the rerun as ordered by the Court of Appeal in Benin City on the grounds that she actively participated in the April 14, 2007 governorship polls in Delta State.

Madeiza and the RPN had through their counsel (also Mr. Mrakpor), filed the originating summons and named INEC; the REC; Omo-Agege. and Enuha as co-defendants.

Madeiza and RPN had claimed that Omo-Agege and Enuha were not eligible to contest the rerun on the grounds that the duo did not participate in the said 2007 polls, just as they alleged that they were not members of the RPN.

The plaintiffs later filed an ex-parte application on December 16, 2010, that was argued by Mrakpor while Justice Buba directed them to serve the defendants with the copies of the processes.

The judge further ordered INEC and REC that have listed Omo-Agege as the RPN's candidate in the rerun 'not to deny the plaintiffs their rights as bonafide members of the party, pending the determination of the motion on notice' and adjourned the case till January 11, 2011.

Meanwhile, the national headquarters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Labour Party (LP) have denied backing the PDP in the rerun as claimed by some politicians in the state who alleged they were their officials. The ACN and LP dismissed such politicians as impostors.

But PDP's candidate in the rerun, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has been assured of mass support from the state's three senatorial districts and in affirmation of the party's zoning policy that gives the slot to the Itsekiri where he hails from, according to the director-general of his campaign organisation, Prof. Godini G. Darah, and Information Commissioner, Oma Djebah.

Darah, in a statement, said Uduaghan would carry the day based on the candidate's 'impressive performance scorecard as the immediate past governor and the level of the PDP's preparedness on the field and from ward to ward where it has more registered voters than all the other parties put together compared to media propagandists and self-acclaimed popular people'.

But a chartered accountant and Delta Central Senatorial aspirant, Ede Dafinone, has urged support for Ogboru.

Dafinone, who was an aspirant on the PDP's platform until last weekend when he announced his defection to the DPP, spoke to a crowd of supporters in Sapele.

Also, the Delta Elders and Leaders Forum led by Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark has adopted Ogboru as consensus candidate for the re-run.

The endorsement came at a meeting of the stakeholders and representatives from the 25 local councils in the state at Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Council. They hinged their decision on Uduaghan's alleged waste of resources and failure as governor.