AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
After all the campaign of calumny against former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan over a purported sack by a federal high court sitting in Abuja, the resident electoral commissioner in Delta state, Dr. Cyril Omorogbe, on Wednesday said that the commission was not aware of any nullification of Dr. Uduaghan’s candidacy in the Saturday national assembly elections.
Stories have been making the rounds across the social media of a purported sack of Uduaghan by a federal high court in Abuja, but the announcement of the state resident electoral commissioner has put paid to the much noise being peddled around by uninformed and possibly enemies of the former governor.
Uduaghan is the APC senatorial candidate for Delta south, though his emergence has been a subject to series of controversies, the onus lies on the aggrieved party members and those who contested the primaries and felt cheated by the party to prove their case at the courts and the independent national electoral commission (INEC).
The Delta state resident electoral commissioner spoke when he had a media briefing with journalists in his office where he explained the issues surrounding the postponed Saturday election, the preparation so far being made and he apologized to the people of Delta state over the inconveniences the postponement must have cost them.
He said: “Let me use the opportunity to apologise to voters, political parties and all stakeholders in Delta state for the inconvenience caused by the postponement. I know many voters from far and near trooped home to be able to able to vote at the various designated polling units where they registered.
“While I completely the anguish and anxieties caused by the postponement, I enjoin all eligible voters in Delta state to take comfort in the saying that delay is not denial. Surely they will have their day on the new dates to freely choose whom they want to represent them in the next four years.”
Speaking on Uduaghan, Omorogbe said neither he nor his office is aware of any court judgement nullifying the candidacy of former Governor Uduaghan as the Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in this Saturday’s rescheduled election.
Omorogbe said though his office does handle legal actions for INEC, he has not received any directive that Uduaghan was no longer the candidate of APC for Delta South.
Answering further questions from journalists, the Delta REC said: “In Asaba we don’t actually handle most of those judgments, it is actually done in Abuja. I am particularly aware of one in Warri area where the judgment was in ten wards that now became twelve wards, and it wanted us to revert back to ten wards.
“This information came last week, and it was not the best time to address it. So we were able to postpone it till after the election for discussion.
“In terms of the number of court judgments, I have never taken the time to start counting them. I am aware of the judgment for Ethiope West but I will not talk on it until I get something from the commission in terms of a formal letter telling us what it is.
Omorogbe also denied allegations that he was posted to Delta on the directive of the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole to unseat Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, whom the APC chair had boasted to oust in 2019 general elections.
“I have never met Adams Oshiomhole in my life. I left Edo state over 30 years ago, I have never seen Oshiomhole. I am not here to side any party, I am here to run a free and fair election. I don’t really answer to anyone, I will definitely do my best, and my doors are open.”