By Sylvanus Okpe
There is palpable anxiety in the camp of the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, as a witness called on Thursday by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to testify in the ongoing National Assembly election tribunal sitting in Asaba, told the court that there were a subsisting court order and judgment restraining APC from submitting names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections.
Recall that a Federal State High Court, in Asaba, had in a judgment on October 17, 2018, ordered the APC in the state not to submit the list of candidates to the electoral agency pending the determination of the suit.
The suit which had INEC and Omo-Agege was first and second respondents with APC as 3rd respondent, respectively, and which was filed by Oboro Evelyn Omavowan, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the election tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State and presided over by Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State.
In the ruling, the court ordered the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, INEC, Prophet Jones Erue and the plaintiff, Chief Cyril Ogodo, to maintain status quo and desist from submitting any list of candidates from Delta State from the two factions to INEC till the substantive suit filed was heard.
The APC in total disobedience to a subsisting valid court order, the Prophet Jones Erue’s faction of the APC went ahead to submit a list of candidates to INEC on October 18, 2018.
The bad omen came for the newly elected deputy senate president when during the cross-examination by Usman O. Sule, lead counsel to the petitioners (PDP and Hon. Evelyn Omavowan Oboro) on Tuesday, the APC witness Mr Adehor Ochuko Albert admitted that there was a restraining court order for APC in Delta State not to submit list of candidates to INEC.
The legal implication of the above if upheld by the tribunal is to declare that the APC having held no valid primaries in the state had no candidates in the National Assembly elections and consequently declare the party with the second highest number of votes in each of the affected position the winner of that election.