The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023, National Assembly elections for Warri Federal Constituency, Ekpoto Ekpoto Emmanuel, has rejected the verdict of the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, which declared Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election for Warri Federal Constituency.
The three-man panel of the tribunal headed by Justice Catherine Ogunsola had on Saturday dismissed the case filed by Ekpoto Ekpoto Emmanuel challenging the victory of Thomas Ereyintomi for lacking merit as the petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.
But, in a press release, he personally signed dated 09/09/2023, Ekpoto Ekpoto predicated his rejection of the tribunal’s verdict on the premise that the decision is not in compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 with particular reference to section 137, which states inter Alia, “It shall not be necessary for a party who alleges non-compliance with the provisions of this Act for the conduct of the election to call oral evidence if originals or certified true copies manifestly disclose the non-compliance alleged”.
According to him, “The 2023 general elections were conducted using the Electoral Act 2022, and delivering judgment with the provision of the 2010 Electoral Act shall not stand and cannot withstand further legal scrutiny.
“In this, therefore, I shall consult extensively with my legal team and all stakeholders, study the judgment diligently and proceed with appropriate actions to recover our God-given mandate, as I believe that the ruling was unjust, irresponsive and failed to address our grievances, thus totally unacceptable to me, to you, to our party leaders and to all of us. We shall continue to struggle and do whatever is necessary within the ambit of the law until our mandate is recovered.
“Thank you again for the overwhelming support thus far, as I do not doubt that we will be victorious at last and that the Warri Federal Constituency shall be great again.
“I, therefore, urge you all to remain calm, go about your business peacefully and be unperturbed by the too-early celebration of those who are wrongly but temporarily in possession of our mandate,” said Ekpoto Ekpoto Emmanuel.