The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Delta State says electoral materials that were sent to Asaba, the Delta State capital, from the INEC headquarters in Abuja were returned because they were labelled with the wrong addresses.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the state INEC headquarters in Asaba, Cyril Omorogbe, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), spoke on the preparedness of the commission for the rescheduled elections, as well as the Abuja High Court judgement which purportedly nullified the candidature of Emmanuel Uduaghan, the immediate past governor of Delta State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Delta South Senatorial district.
“We found out that some materials that were labelled Edo came to Delta. Others that were with minor errors, like hand-written corrections, were also rejected and returned to Abuja for appropriate ones,” he said.
The REC also denied the insinuation that his deployment to Delta State was influenced by Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole.
Omorogbe disclosed that the postponement of last Saturday presidential and national Assembly elections was in favour of the commission, maintaining that the commission has since converted it to its advantage, insisting that the “the reconfiguration of the card readers was to enhance its performance.”
A press statement made available to journalists alleged that Uduaghan had been disqualified from the race by an Abuja High Court, following a suit instituted against Uduaghan by retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Terry Okorodudu, a chieftain of APC.
The statement, which was issued from the Press Unit, Government House, Asaba, was entitled ‘Court Dashes Uduaghan’s Senatorial Quest, Nullifies Delta South APC Nomination, Orders Fresh Primary’.
“The desire of the immediate past Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, to represent Delta South in the ninth Nigerian Senate has been dashed. A high court sitting in Abuja has declared his nomination a nullity,” the statement read.
According to Omorogbe, the Commission was not aware of such judgement.
The REC said the court at no time ordered the electoral umpire to delete Uduaghan’s name from the list of contestants in the election.
“We are not aware of any court judgement against Uduaghan. I am only aware of the case of eight wards in Burutu that later came to 10. We have postponed the matter until after elections. I will not talk much about the court case in Ethiope West involving Hon. Halim Agoda, a former member of the House of Representatives and Chief Edojah until I get information from the high command of the commission. We are not aware of any other judgement,” he said.
Uduaghan, through his media assistant, Monoyo Edon, also debunked the report of his disqualification, saying he remains the authentic candidate for the Delta South senatorial election for the All Progressives Congress (APC) slated for this Saturday.
The statement read: “We wish to clarify that His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, was never aware of the case nor was he a party to the case and was never joined in the alleged suit. The court had no time ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the name of Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan from the list of candidates in the election.
“Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has instructed his lawyers to take necessary legal steps on the matter, even as he enjoins APC party faithful and supporters to come out en masse to vote the party and all its candidates to victory in the elections.
“We wish to state categorically that His Excellency, Dr. Uduaghan remains the candidate of the APC for Delta South and we are confident of winning the election.