By Ovasa Ogaga,
Reject judgment, heads to Appeal Court
The member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South, and Udu Federal Constituency in theHouse of Representatives, Rt Rev (Hon) Francis Ejiroghene Waive has said that the grounds for the disqualifying as a candidate in the last election by the Tribunal is not known to Nigeria law.
The lawmaker in a signed statement disclosed that the nonpublication of his academic qualification which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on its portal is not a ground for disqualification of a candidate, and as such, it’s alien to Nigerian law.
Hon. Waive of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner of the February 25 election having scored the highest number of valid votes cast by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
However, the Delta State and National Assembly Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba on Monday declared Solomon Ahwinahwi of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the election.
Reacting to the tribunal judgment, Hon Waive disclosed that he fulfilled all the requirements of INEC and the law as expected of him and provided documented evidence to the tribunal, adding that INEC’s act of omission which he wrote to them should not be a ground for his disqualification.
The lawmaker who rejected the tribunal’s judgment added that he has instructed his legal team to study the judgment and immediately appeal it.
He also called his supporters and party faithful to remain calm and law-abiding as he goes on appeal to test the judgment.
The Statement Read:
“TRIBUNAL JUDGEMENT: Today the 11th of September 2023, the National Assembly Elections Tribunal Asaba ruled (in layman’s language) that the nonpublication of my educational qualifications in the INEC portal is grounds to disqualify me and declare the loser of the election the winner.
“Let me state clearly as I did before the Tribunal with documented evidence that I did submit all required documents including my qualifications as required by INEC. The nonpublication of the same on the INEC portal is definitely not my making or within my power to effect. And I did write INEC on this.
“Very importantly, however, the nonpublication by INEC is not known to our laws as a ground for disqualification of a candidate.
“Consequently, I have instructed my lawyers to appeal the judgment.
“I call on our people to remain calm and law-abiding as we continue in the struggle to make our country a better place to live in.”