The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has set aside the judgment of the National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Asaba, which declared Ndudi Elumelu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as winner of the 2023 election for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Ngozi Okolie of the Labour Party (LP) as winner of the election.
But Elumelu challenged Okolie’s victory in court, leading to the loss of the LP candidate at the tribunal.
But the Appeal Court yesterday faulted the tribunal for voiding Okolie’s election and dismissed the petition filed by Elumelu.
The development comes after LP expressed concern over the spate of judgments churned out at the various tribunals where several of its elected members at the National Assembly were sacked.
National Chairman of the party, Barrister Julius Abure, said on Tuesday in a statement that the tribunal’s rulings against its elected lawmakers was unjust and contravened established jurisprudence.
He had said, “We are worried because the reasons for reversing our victories are matters that have been settled by the superior courts in the past.
“It is even incomprehensible and ludicrous when different tribunals give conflicting and diverse judgements on the same matter, a matter that has since been ruled by the Supreme Court and very recently at the Presidential Election Petition Court in APC v Peter Obi.
“The courts have in a plethora of cases held that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party.”
He said that the issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts, as it is only a political party that can determine who its members are and who their candidate for an election should be.