ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – US-trained legal practitioner and former Secretary to Delta State Government, Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege of the Labour Party (LP) was on Tuesday issued a Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to represent Delta Central in the Senate.
He, however, demanded that the judiciary and lawmakers in the country should work in concert to ensure that those he called “electoral usurpers” such as Senator Ighoyota Amori of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were “made to refund all entitlements they enjoyed during their brief stay in power.”
The commission also presented a similar certificate to Hon.Nwaobi Emeka Emmanuel representing Aniocha North in the Delta State House of Assembly.
Making the presentation Tuesday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, National Commissioner in charge of South South, Dr Mustapha Lecky, said the action was pursuant to one of the statutory roles of the commission.
He said INEC did its best in concluding all the elections in Delta state, praising all stakeholders in the process for adhering to the laws.
According to him, INEC would work to improve on the electoral process towards deepening democracy in the country.
He said in his case, he has already lost eight months out of a four-year tenure, vowing to ensure that the electoral law is strengthened to force people like his predecessor to return all they earned within the period.
Omo-Agege said, “On behalf of myself and Hon. Nwaobi of Aniocha North state constituency, I want to thank INEC for a job well done and for implementing the directives of the Court of Appeal as at when due.
“It is about time we did something to make sure that people who, out of impunity rig their ways to political offices, are made to face the music and should not be allowed to enjoy whatever salaries or allowances they got within the period they occupied the offices illegally. It is not just enough for the court to expel them, but they must be made to forfeit all their benefits.”
He added that as soon as he gets to the Senate, he would work towards ensuring that the relevant laws are amended to give such backing to judges.
In his reaction. the National Leader of Urhobo Nationality Council (UNC), Olorogun Jaro Egbo, said the event was historic and signalled a positive beginning for the politics of Delta Central
He said, We are happy for today event it is historic and have a positive far reaching effect on the Politics of Delta central in particular and Delta State in general as Obarisi Omo Agege will bring to bear his wealth of experience to bring Urhobo nation to the epicentre of national politics through effective representation.
“The Politics of Urhobo nation will never be the same again we are in for real deal and we happy about the issuance of the certificate of return to the Senator elect.”
Section 75 of of the 2010 Electoral Act, as amended, makes it incumbent on the commission to issue the certificate within 48 hours of the receipt of the court order which he said was received on January 11.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Edo State, had on December 21 nullified the election of the then senator representing Delta Central senatorial district in the Senate, Senator Ighoyota Amori of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The appellate court consequently declared the senatorial candidate of Labour Party in the March 28 2015 election, Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege as winner of the election.
Delivering the judgment, Justice H. A. Barka in the lead decision, set aside the verdict of the lower tribunal which upheld the declaration of Senator Amori as winner of the election by INEC.