The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, presented Certificate of Return to 23 Elected Lawmakers in Delta State at its State headquarters in Asaba.
The electoral umpire at the brief ceremony which also witnessed the presentation of certificate of return to the state governor and Governor-elect, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, announced that it withheld the certificates of three elected lawmakers due to pending court cases.
The affected lawmakers; Anidi Innocent, Ethiope East; Oniyere Charles, Ughelli North 1 and Egbo Jaro, Ughelli North 2, all won their elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
A fourth certificate prepared in favour of PDP’s Ochor Christopher Ochor, elected lawmaker for Ukwuani Constituency, was also withheld due to mis-spellings in his name on the certificate.
The 23 lawmakers who got their certificates at the presentation ceremony are all members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP with a total of 10 returning and 13 new lawmakers.
The returning legislators are; Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Okpe; Hon. Tim Owhefere, Isoko North; Pat Ajudua, Oshimili North; Preyor Oboro, Bomadi; Emeke Elekeokwuri, Ika North East, Festus Okoh, Ika South; Emeka Nwaobi, Aniocha North; Peter Uviejitobor, Udu; Rueben Izeze, Ughelli South and Solomon Ighrakpata, Uvwie.
The 13 new lawmakers include; Austine Chikezie, Aniocha South; Shedrack Rapu, Oshimili South; Charles Emetulu, Ndokwa West; Felix Anirah, Sapele; Kenneth Ogba, Isoko south 1; Ferguson Onwo, Isoko South 2 and Augustine Uroye, Warri South 1.
Others are, Matthew Opuoru, Warri South 2; Guwor Emomotimi, Warri South West; Alfred Martins, Warri North; Emmanuel Sinebe, Patani; Asupa Forteta, Burutu 1 and Pullah Ekpotuayerin, Burutu 2.
The duo of Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi and Hon. Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu who are both returning for another term, are currently out of the country on vacation.
Making the presentations, the National Commissioner of INEC, in charge of South-South, Dr Mohammed Lecky urged politicians to place the nation above self even in time of victory.
“This is the only way the dividends of democracy for which many have paid the supreme price can truly be within the reach of voters, majority of who went through enormous troubles to exercise their franchise,’’ he said.
Lecky while congratulating the governor-elect and the state Assembly members, said, “Section 75(10) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended provides for the issuance of certificate of return to elected candidates by the chairman of INEC’’.
In his speech, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Cyril Omorogbe, who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Felix Enabor, said the presentation of certificates of return was the culmination of the general elections in the state.
Omorogbe congratulated the political parties and their candidates in the state for exhibiting high-level of decorum and restraint throughout the elections.
Regretting the loss of lives and destruction of property in some voting centres in the state, Omorogbe disclosed that security agencies were already on the trail of the perpetrators of the dastard acts with a view to bringing them to justice.
These 23 lawmakers will be part of the 29 legislators to constitute the Seventh Assembly of the State.