…says his removal was unlawful
Recall the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, nullified the election of Okolie.
But immediate past Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ndudi Elumelu, filed a petition before the tribunal praying it to disqualify Okolie, that he did not resign his position as a public office holder.
The tribunal ruled on Monday that Okolie had not been a member of the Labour Party by May 28, 2022, the date of the primary election, and thus, he was not properly sponsored by the party.
As a result, the tribunal declared the runner-up in the February 25, 2023 National Assembly election, Elumelu as the winner.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Okolie said the judgement had no legal basis adding that he could not really phantom the reasons for the court's judgement.
According to him, they annulled the election based on very frivolous reasons that nobody can comprehend for now. So I have decided to go on appeal just to at least try and strengthen democracy in our time.
Hopefully we get an appeal, the judges will either interpret the law differently or uphold what they said.
“What they insinuated cannot be true. PDP is a funny party. When I declared for Labour Party, I honestly didn't want to resign but out of their hatred and jealousy they stopped my payment and removed my name from the payroll, they did it themselves. So I actually waited for my August salary but I didn't see it.
“So I now called the paymaster, he said they have instructed him to remove my name from the payroll, I said okay, and that was how I went to tender my resignation. They have a witness that came down and testified that they removed me from their payroll.
“I'm not a public servant, so I don't know which law they used to judge. It's appalling. I thought our justice system was blind, but now it wears a dark goggle with a deep pocket in its side.”