By EMMA AMAIZE
PEOPLES Redemption Party, PRP, governorship candidate in Delta State, Comrade Emmanuel Igbini, yesterday said the State Commissioner for Orientation and Communication, Chief Paulinus Akpeki had no right to question the decision of DPP gubernatorial candidate, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, to challenge the result of the January 6 gubernatorial re-run in the state in court.
In a statement, Igbini said, “It is a fundamental human and constitutional right of Chief Ogboru to seek redress in a competent court of jurisdiction if he feels so aggrieved and by daring to challenge him for doing so, Chief Akpeki’s statement amounts to unwarranted provocation and attempt to incite public unrest in Delta State and hatred against Chief Ogboru.
“Chief Akpeki is obviously not speaking for Governor Uduaghan or acting on behalf of Delta State Government since he is not an appointee of Delta State Government or governor Uduaghan and lacks the locus standi to issue such statement under the cover of being the Delta State Commissioner for Orientation and Communication. The fact is that Chief Akpeki’s appointment and those of other Commissioners appointed by former Acting Governor, Sam Obi, were constitutionally terminated alongside that of their appointor, the then acting Governor Sam Obi, effective January 10, 2011 upon swearing in of Governor Uduaghan as new governor of Delta State.
“It is a fact that governor Uduaghan has never at anytime condemned the decisions of Chief Ogboru, Chief Peter Okocha and my humble self for instituting legal actions against his 2007 “election victory” and some unconstitutional acts of his government. On the contrary, he has continued to relate with us as friends and his colleagues at the polls.
“By Sections 144 and 145 of the Electoral Act 2006 based on which the Delta State re-run election was conducted and by Sections 137 and 138 of the Electoral Act 2010, Chief Great Ogboru as a candidate in that re-run election, enjoys the full right to apply to the Delta State Election Tribunal seeking for the annulment of the election verdict of INEC declaring Dr Uduaghan, winner.
“These Sections also allows Chief Ogboru to apply, seeking that he be declared winner of the re-run election. The final decision lies exclusively with the Tribunal and the Courts with jurisdictions to hear the petition and appeals.”