I AM BATTLE-READY – OGBORU
The ruling of the Court of Appeal in Benin, Edo State capital, yesterday, nullifying election of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as governor of Delta State, has stirred reactions from a cross section of Nigerians.
Governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, who initiated the court action that resulted in the ruling, described it as victory for democracy, adding that he was battle ready for the re-run election, which the court also ordered should be held within 90 days.
Ogboru spoke on phone with our Warri correspondent and wondered why Dr Uduaghan thought he could escape the wrath of the law.
He said it was the time they had been waiting and expressed happiness that truth had prevailed. 'It is a pity that Dr. Uduaghan did not see the hand writing on the wall that he is not the people's candidate but lam happy that Deltans have recovered their stolen mandate, in fact, we are glad,' said Ogboru.
He, however, denied switching over to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), stating that he was still a member of DPP on whose platform he hoped to contest the re-run election. However, the court's ruling was received with jubilation in Abraka, Ogboru's hometown and other parts of the State. In Effurun and Abraka, commercial motorcyclists trooped out in great numbers, applauding the ruling, which they described as a landmark judgment.
But the mood was different in Isoko, parts of Warri metropolis, Ughelli and other parts of Itsekiri axis where Uduaghan hailed from as scores of supporters expressed disgust. They were optimistic, however, that Uduaghan would surely win the re-run election. A staunch supporter of Ogboru's, Mrs. Roseline Akomakowe, who is also a woman leader of the DPP, described the ruling as one of the best things to have happened in the nation's judiciary.
Also, a leading member of PDP and former Commissioner for Health in Delta State, Dr. Richard Tosanwumi, described the ruling as a clear testimony of sweet victory over evil machinations.
Tosanwumi said the new development had vindicated Delta natives and enjoined them to join hands and oust Uduaghan in the re-run election, adding that it was a golden opportunity to rid the State of lame duck leaders. Meanwhile, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (INTERSOCIETY) has commended the judiciary over the judgement, sacking Uduaghan and the nullification of the passage of the amended constitution of the 1999 by the same court, which it described as a breakthrough.
In a press statement, which was signed by its Chairman, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, and made available to Daily Sun, the group maintained that the judgements by the country's judiciary were a manifestation of the independence of the judiciary, adding that it had also shown that re-branding of the country was possible. It also expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in delivering judgement in the appeal case against the governorship election in Delta State, describing it as part of the bastardisation of the country's system.
According to INTERSOCIETY: 'Delivering a judgment in an election matter three years and six months after the usurper of the Delta State governorship throne wrongfully assumed office is a clear case of bastardised and failed system.' On the rejection suffered by the amended 1999 constitution in court, the group maintained that the judgment was a vindication of the people of the country as well as that of the rule of law.