DELTA Central incumbent and senator-elect under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has declared that he remains the Senator-Elect in spite of the court judgement nullifying the Prophet Jones Erue-led faction in Delta State.
Omo-Agege made the clarification on Tuesday in a statement signed by Mr Godwin Anaughe, his Senior Special Adviser Communications & Strategy.
He said the House of Representatives member-elect, Rev Francis Ejiroghene Waive and the Erue-led state executive of the Delta APC were also unaffected by the ruling of Justice Adegoke of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba.
According to him, the judgment is null and void ab initio because “the electoral college that elected Senator Omo-Agege and Rev Waive as APC candidates in the just concluded 2019 general elections came into being by virtue of a consent judgement that has not been set aside,” among others.
“It is still a valid, subsisting judgement until it is set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction, therefore, their election into their respective positions remains valid,” he noted.
Omo-Agege added that “there is no consequential order made by Justice Toyin Adegoke for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return duly issued to Senator Omo-Agege and Rev Waive and to be re-issued to those who are now parading themselves as the valid candidates for the just concluded 2019 general elections, neither was there any order made against the persons of Distinguished Senator Omo-Agege and Rev Francis Waive, as they were not parties to the suit and as such are not bound by the said judgement.
“Third, the Court in today’s judgement in its wisdom held that the consent judgement is not binding on Cyril Ogodo and co. because they were not parties to that suit, it becomes trite that today’s judgement also cannot bind on Senator Omo-Agege and Rev Waive because they were also not joined as parties to this present suit.
“Further to this, the Court, therefore, cannot make any declaratory orders against them. See OKONTA VS PHILIPS (2010) 18 NWLR ( Pt 1225) 320 SC.
“Fourth, the National Working Committee ( NWC) of APC, under the directive of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party is the only organ that is saddled with the responsibility of organizing party primaries for the purpose of nominating and sponsoring candidates for elections and not one Mefor Progress, an individual, as Justice Toyin Adegoke wrongly held in her judgement.
“Finally, it is imperative to state emphatically that the consent judgement of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that gives validity to the Jones Ode Erue led Exco is a final judgement of Court like any other judgement, and it is valid and subsisting until it is appealed against and set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“The Asaba Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to sit as an Appellant Court over a consent judgement delivered by a court of coordinate jurisdiction.
“Consequently Prophet Jones Ode Erue & his Exco remains the valid and authentic Executives of Delta State APC.
“The judgement delivered today by Justice Toyin Adegoke of the Federal High Court 1, Asaba is therefore of no consequence.”