The National and State Houses of Assembly election petitions tribunal’s ruling was dismissed by the Court of Appeal located in Asaba, upholding Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas’ victory in the Delta South Senatorial District election on February 25.
The panel’s judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, determined that the five points raised in Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas’s appeal had substance.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Michael Diden, also known as Ejele, were fined N250,000 by the court.
Recall that Joel-Onowakpo’s victory in the 2023 National Assembly election was contested by Michael Diden, aka Ejele, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) senatorial candidate, and his party. They asked the tribunal to nullify the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Joel-Onowakpo as the winner of the 2023 senatorial election.
Diden claimed that the majority of valid votes cast in the poll did not constitute Joel-Onowakpo’s legitimate election.
In its decision, a three-member panel led by Justice Cathrine Ogunsola ruled that the Joel-Onowakpo election was inconclusive. As a result, the panel directed the electoral body to hold a supplementary election in the Warri South council area of the Delta South senatorial district within ninety days.