IGBINI FLAYS SUIT TO STOP GUBER POLLS IN DELTA
By Emma Amaize
Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, governorship candidate in Delta State, Mr. Emmanuel Igbini, yesterday, objected to the suit by a Deltan, Oghenejabor Ikimi, to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting gubernatorial election in the state until January 2015 when the incumbent Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan would complete his fresh tenure.
In a statement in Warri, Igbini said, 'I strongly object to the suit before the Federal High Court, Asaba, and want it struck out for lacking merit. I have also directed my counsel to apply that I be joined as a defendant in the suit.'
'The fact remains that Delta State governorship election conducted by INEC on January 6, 2011 was strictly a re-run election on the orders of the Court of Appeal judgment of November 9, 2010 and which by the effect of the Amended Constitution of Nigeria, will and should terminate on January 6, 2015, if and only if a new governorship candidate other than the incumbent Governor Uduaghan is declared lawful winner of the election. No more or less.'
He further contended that, 'INEC did not conduct a fresh election in Delta State on January 6, 2011 and could not have legally done so. Kimi's reliance on Section 180(2a) of the now invalid Nigerian 1999 Constitution as basis to seek to stop INEC from conducting a fresh governorship election in Delta State on April 16, 2011 is not valid in law as it is a fact known in law that the effect of an amendment to an existing Constitution or Law automatically renders the affected Section(s) of such existing constitution and law, void and of no effect whatsoever, from the exact time the amendment came into effect.'
Igbini further argued, 'It is a known fact that the amended 1999 Constitution of Nigeria state now provides clearly that in the case of a rerun election conducted by INEC, where the incumbent wins the re-run election, the tenure of the incumbent shall continue from the date he was sworn in and took oath of office before the annulment of the election. In this case of Delta State re-run election, governor Uduaghan being the incumbent, his tenure continues from May 29, 2007 and terminates on May 29, 2011, except if he wins in a fresh election to be conducted by INEC in April 16, 2011'.
'The only lawful ground that can stop INEC from conducting a fresh Governorship election in April 16, 2011 in Delta State is if and only if, Chief Great Ogboru of DPP withdraws his election petition seeking a nullification of the declaration of Dr Udugahan as winner of the January 6, re-run election.