The Delta State Election Petition Tribunal has delivered a verdict that has resulted in the sacking of Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, popularly known as JOT, who currently represents the Delta South Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

The National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal, which convened in Asaba, Delta State, has issued an order for a rerun election in the Warri South Local Government Area of the state, specifically for the Delta South Senatorial District.

The legal dispute emerged when the Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Michael Diden, aka Ejele, challenged the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Joel Onowakpo-Thomas (JOT), in the 2023 National Assembly elections.

Diden and the PDP, in their petition marked EPT/DT/SEN/ 01/2023, called upon the tribunal to invalidate INEC’s declaration of the APC candidate, Joel-Onowakpo, asserting that he was not rightfully elected by the majority of lawful votes cast during the polls.

A three-member panel, presided over by Justice Cathrine Ogunsola, has ruled that the election that brought Joel-Onowakpo into office was inconclusive. As a result, they have ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in the Warri South council area of Delta South Senatorial district.

Joel-Onowakpo Thomas Responds to the Tribunal Verdict

In response to the tribunal’s decision, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas has issued a statement expressing his awareness of the judgment delivered by the National Assembly Petition Tribunal in Asaba, Delta State.

“While we are yet to receive the certified true copy of the judgment,” he stated, “preliminary brief suggested sufficient grounds for appeal which will give us victory.”

The Senator has assured his supporters and APC faithful in Delta South Senatorial District that they should remain calm and show unity in these challenging times. He further pledged to defend the mandate given to him by the people and emphasized his determination to continue serving as their Senator for the next four years.