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Ex-Speaker, returning officer injured in PDP ward congress fracas

By  Emma Amaize

WARRI—FORMER Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Martins Okonta and the  returning officer for Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Oritsbubemi Nana, were injured in a fracas that erupted at the party’s secretariat in Asaba, weekend.

Vanguard learnt that Okonta, who was allegedly hit with a weapon by a former member of the House of Representatives, slumped and was rushed to Saint Luke Hospital, Asaba, for treatment.

A source close to Okonta said trouble started when he challenged the selection of Mr. Nana as the returning officer for the Ika South congress, adding that he was voicing his opposition against Nana, being a Personal Assistant to the former Rep, when he was attacked.

Mr. Nana, however, gave newsmen a different account, saying he was the victim, as a cut was inflicted on his head and other parts of his body.

He said as a  member of the House of Assembly, he must be accorded due respect, adding that it was then the party chairman told him it was not done that way, and he was suddenly attacked. Dr. Ojougboh, who is at the centre of the controversy, denied fighting Okonta.

He said Okonta was standing the truth on the head, as it was Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who  sent him (Okonta) and one Hilary , his Personal Assistant, to the party secretariat to serve as returning officer for the local government.

He said: “I was there when they argued it out and the party said they wanted a neutral person. Then, they chose one Oritsebubemi Nana, which was okay by me and I left the place. When fight broke out, I wasn’t there, I had already left.  I had nothing to do with Okonta. It was what Dr. Okowa asked him to do that he did.

“This thing started in the year 2002. Dr. Okowa is the problem of Ika South, I don’t know what Dr. Okowa is looking for in Ika South.  “Dr. Okowa should leave Ika South alone. It was  Okowa’s script that Okonta was acting out.”


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