DELTA—-The opening of testimony by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State in the April 11 election, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor in the state Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, was on Tuesday stalled following three fresh motions filed by the counsels to the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the PDP, just as the hearing was to begin.
The Tribunal had adjourned till today, August 17, for the petitioner Olorogun Emerhor, to call in his witness; however the tribunal had to adjourned till Thursday, August 20, to hear the fresh motion filed by the counsels to Okowa and the PDP challenging the subpoenaing of some INEC staff by the petitioner to testify in the tribunal.
The APC governorship candidate, had through his counsel, Mr. Thomson Okpokor (SAN) in readiness to call in his witnesses, had in August 7, after the pre-trial conference, filed a motion seeking the tribunal to subpoena some INEC officials to testify as witness before the tribunal.
However, in what an APC chieftain, Dr Cyril Ogodo has described as a “delay tactics and an attempt frustrate the commencement of the trial,” challenging the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, by INEC as the winner of the governorship election, Okowa through his lead counsel Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) waited till today to file fresh motion thereby stalling the commencement of the trial.
Opposing the fresh motion brought by Okowa through his lead counsel Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) and the PDP’s counsel A .T Kehinde (SAN), Chief T. Okpokor (SAN) asked the tribunal for time, till Wednesday due to the exigency of time to enable him respond to the fresh motion brought by the respondents.
Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Nasiru Gunmi, after listening to all the parties to the case, adjourned case till Thursday, August 20 for hearing of the fresh motion brought by the Okowa and the PDP.
It would be recalled that the Appeal Court sitting in Benin and presided over by Justice I.M.M Saulawa on, Wednesday 12th August 2015, dismissed and struck out the appeals by Okowa and PDP filed separately against the earlier rulings of the tribunal at Asaba that favoured Emerhor / APC.
Okowa and PDP had appealed against the ruling of the tribunal delivered on 30/06/2015 that all preliminary objections to terminate the petition will be held alongside the hearing of the substantive petition.
The appeal was dismissed as lacking merit with cost of 50,000 naira awarded against Okowa and PDP.