The leadership of the Labour Party, LP, has reacted to the judgment by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, which sacked Ngozi Okolie representing Aniocha/Oshimili Constituency in the House of Representatives.
The party said it’s shocked over the court’s judgement saying it’s not in consonance with the law.
This was contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Njenje Media reported that the court on Monday nullified the election of Okolie of the LP as a member of the House of Representatives and returned Ndudi Elumelu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the authentic winner.
The court claimed that the LP candidate was not qualified to contest for the poll.
However, the LP stated that an action based on determination of membership of a political party is not justiciable, insisting that the judgement by the tribunal is not acceptable to it.
The party further disclosed that it is going ahead to appeal the judgement.
“We note that the judgement is clearly inconsistent with the position of the law already settled even by superior courts, including the Supreme Court. The issue of nomination of candidates as well as membership are internal affairs of the party beyond the jurisdiction of courts. Only a political party can determine who its members are and who their flag bearer for an election should be.
“The courts have in a plethora of cases held that the court has no jurisdiction to intervene in the internal affairs of a political party,” the party’s statement read.
While alleging that powerful people in Delta State were involved in the matter and that the party expected some arm-twisting and political bravado, it, however, urged supporters to keep calm as the party would ensure that none of its mandates would be snatched away.