The Appeal Court Holden in Benin has assured parties that it would do justices to cases brought before it, even as it has reserved judgement in the appeal challenging the judgement of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Asaba, which upheld the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 11 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Chairman of the five-man panel of Appeal Court Judges, Justice (Mrs.) Uwani Abba-Aji who reserved judgement following the adoption of written addresses by counsels to the respective parties, stated that the date of the judgement will be communicated to the parties, while assuring them that justices will be done.
It would be recalled that, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and the All Progressive Congress APC, dissatisfied with the decision of the lower tribunal at Asaba had approached the Appeal Court in a notice of appeal with petition number, CA/B/EPT / 2015, filed by the counsel Chief Thomson Okpoko SAN, asking the court set-aside the judgement of the tribunal and grant the reliefs they sought.
In the 11 grounds of appeal, the appellant averred that, “the learned Justices erred in law when having held that every voter that voted during the Governorship election must have been processed through the card reader went on to hold that the Petitioners have not been able to prove that the Governorship election held in Delta State on April 11 2015 was not held in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Adding that, “the Learned Justices misdirected themselves in law when they said that, there was no conclusive evidence that all those that were accredited through the use of card readers had their data uploaded to the server where the data used by the Petitioners were downloaded.
The appellants therefore sought that the Appeal Court allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal and enter judgment for the petitioners as claimed in the petition by nullifying the said election and directing the 3rd respondent to order fresh election to the office of Governor of Delta State within the time prescribed by law.
Counsel to Emerhor and the APC, Chief Okpoko (SAN) while adopting and relying on his written addresses, contended that there are ample evidences before the court which the lower tribunal choose to ignore.
He therefore urged Appeal Court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgement of the lower tribunal and annulled the election as required by law, and also dismiss the cross appeal as they are unmeritorious.
The counsels to first respondent (Okowa), Alex Iziyon (SAN); second respondent (PDP), Timothy Kehinde (SAN); and third respondent (INEC), Damian Dodo (SAN) urged the appeal court to dismiss the appeal with substantial cost against the petitioners, stating that appeal lacks merit.