A video clip posted by Hichief Sunny Odogwu, a Facebook user, claimed that the tribunal has declared Kennedy Pela, candidate of the Labour Party (LP), winner of the 2023 Delta guber election.
The six-minute-long video was posted on August 31.
“BREAKING: Court of Appeal Delares Labour Party Governorship Candidate, Ken Pela As Winner Of The Delta State Guber Election,” reads the caption of the post which gathered 70,000 views, 266 comments and 1,300 likes.
Odogwu also asked those who have viewed the post to share it with others.
In a recent report by TheCable, the court of appeal in Abuja ordered the Delta state gubernatorial tribunal to hear the suit filed by Pela of the LP.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Sheriff Oborevwori, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the March 18 election in the state.
Oborevwori polled 360,234 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 240,229.
Pela came third with 48,027 votes, while Great Ogboru of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) came fourth with 11,021 votes.
Pela and his party filed a petition challenging the result on the grounds of non-qualification of the candidates who came first and second, corrupt practices, and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
They asked the tribunal to declare Pela the winner of the election or in the alternative, annul the election and conduct a fresh one.
RULING ON THE APPEAL
During the pre-hearing stage, Damian Dodo, lead counsel to the governor and his deputy, argued that the LP’s petition had been abandoned.
Dodo said the petitioner failed to avail himself of the seven-day window for a pre-hearing notice, adding that Pela and LP failed to apply for another pre-hearing notice, thereby rendering his petition abandoned.
The lead counsel to the governor and his deputy said the petitioner applied for pre-hearing notice on May 19 before the close of pleadings, and as such, the petition was premature, incompetent and should be dismissed.
C.H Ahuchaogu, the chairperson of the tribunal’s three-member panel, dismissed Pela’s petition while ruling on the application.
Pela and LP were aggrieved by the ruling and therefore proceeded to the court of appeal.
On August 31, the appellate court granted the prayers of the appellants and ordered that the petition be returned to the tribunal and be heard on its merit.
The post claiming the tribunal has declared Pela as the winner of the Delta governorship election is false.
The court of appeal only granted the right to return the petition of Pela and LP to the election court. As of the time of filing this report, no decision has been made on the matter.
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