Image: Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ovwigho Igbuya exchanging pleasantries with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ovwigho Igbuya was duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election, says Chairman, Panel 11, National and State House of Assembly 2015 Delta State Election Petition Tribunal, Hon Justice A. I. Banjoko.
The Tribunal also declared that the election was valid, devoid of corrupt practices and in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).
“It is the law that where a party fails to call evidence in support of his case or in rebuttal of the case of the opposite party, the Tribunal is entitled to resolve the matter against that party unless there are some other legal reasons to the contrary.
“In this case, the petitioners failed to rebut the presumption of regularity raised in favour of INEC’s official declaration of results which was in favour of the 1st Respondent and also failed to adduce satisfactory, cogent and credible evidence to prove all the Grounds of their petition and the petition is found unmeritorious and is accordingly dismissed,” Banjoko said.
The 1st petitioner, Chief Felix Anirah was a candidate of the 2nd petitioner, the All Progressives Congress (APC) who contested the elections held on the 11th day of April 2015 for the membership of the Delta State House of Assembly representing Sapele constituency.
After the conclusion and with the declaration of the 1st Respondent (Monday Igbuya) winner, a petition dated 1st but filled on the 2nd of May 2015 was instituted before the Tribunal.
Reacting to the ruling, Igbuya thanked the chairman and members of the Tribunal for satisfying the electorate and the society at large by dismissing the petition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly candidate, Chief Felix Anirah.
He also lauded the judiciary for not yielding to calculated lies about elections in Sapele.
He described the election of 11th April, 2015 as the most transparent ever seen in the history of the area.
“Elections are not won on the pages of newspapers or through noise making. Those banking their hopes on the judiciary to occupy space at the Delta State House of Assembly should stop deceiving themselves” he said.
Igbuya who described the petition as frivolous and gold- digging and its dismissal should be seen as victory for the people of Sapele State Constituency, which he represents at the Delta State House of Assembly, assured his constituents that he would remain focused.
“It is a victory for the people, our democracy and the rule of law”.
He thanked the good people of Sapele Local Government for their support while urging Anirah to join hands with him in attracting development to the area.
“We thank the Almighty God for our triumph at the tribunal. This victory is a call to greater service and sustained commitment to the good people of Delta State”.
Ebireri Henry Ovie