The lawmaker representing the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Ngozi Okolie has broken silence on his sack, News About Nigeria reports.
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Delta State on Monday nullified the election that produced Okolie as the winner.
During the National Assembly election that was held on February 25, 2023, Okolie defeated his PDP counterpart, Ndudi Elumelu.
Elumelu who was seeking re-election scored a total of 33,456 votes, while Okolie got a total of 53,879 votes. However, he was not pleased with the outcome of the election and took the case to court insisting that he won.
He petitioned the court to disqualify Okolie saying he was not properly sponsored by the Labour Party and that he did not resign his position as a public office holder.
Justice A.Z. Mussa who presided over the judgement nullified Okolie’s victory saying that he was not a genuine member of the Labour Party during the primary election, which was held on May 28, 2022.
Reacting to the judgement, Okolie said he disagrees with the tribunal’s decision to cancel his election.
Speaking to reporters in Delta State, Okolie described the judgment as “unlawful” and without any legal grounds.
To support his argument, he referenced a recent court case, Atiku vs Tinubu, APC, where the court ruled that matters related to candidacy were the internal concerns of political parties.
Weighing into the matter, the national publicity secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh said the party is shocked by the judgment as it goes against established laws, including decisions made by higher courts like the supreme court.
They stated that matters of candidate nomination and party membership are internal affairs, and only the party has the right to decide who their members are and who can run as their candidate in an election.
According to the party’s rules, they can welcome any Nigerian who wants to join during elections and grant waivers to new members.
They asserted that they followed their guidelines properly when they granted a waiver to Ngozi Okolie, and argued that the tribunal’s judgment is not acceptable to them and that they will appeal it.
They believed the petitioner’s victory is temporary and will be overturned on appeal as they are already preparing their documents to proceed with the appeal process.