Tribunal rejects Okowa’s pleas for more time

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Justice Suleiman Belgore- led Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal Panel 1 has rejected an application for more time by Damain Dodo (SAN) lead counsel to 1st respondent, Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

Dodo had argued for more time to study the petition following a closure of the petitioner’s case on Tuesday.

But Justice Belgore rejected the oral application and held that the 1st respondent’s defence has ten days for its defence commencing from 17th of July, 2019.

Great Ogboru and APC, having called about twenty (20) witnesses, closed their case.

The petitioners also tendered documents including voters’ registers and results from polling units level up to State level (EC8A’s to EC8E’s) in proof of their case.

Joined in the petition marked EPT/DT/GOV/01/2019 are Gov Ifeanyi Okowa as 1st respondent, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) 2nd respondent while Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 3rd respondent.

Dissatisfied with the victory of Delta Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa at the governorship polls, Ogboru had approached the tribunal seeking legal redress.

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Amongst the petitioner’s prayers are that it be declared that the total votes for him should be 215,938 while that of the 1st respondent (Okowa) and 2nd respondent (PDP) should be 155,192 votes.

He is also seeking that the certificate of return issued to the 1st and 2nd respondents be declared null and void.

The petitioner wants to be returned having scored the highest number of lawful votes cast and that the 3rd respondent (INEC) should issue the petitioner’s with the certificate of return as duly elected Governor of Delta State.

Alternatively, the election to the office of Governor of Delta State held on March 9th be nullified and fresh election ordered.

Hearing for the defence of the 1st respondent comes up on Tuesday, 23rd of July, 2019.

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