#DeltaTribunal: Delta State APC Rejects “Evil Judgment”, Says “Emerhor Will Laugh Last”
In what many have described as a travesty of justice, the Justice Nasir Gunmi led Delta State Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, last week dismissed the petition of the APC candidate, Olorogun O’tega
Emerhor, which sought to challenge the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP as the winner of the election held on April 11, 2015.
During the course of the tribunal proceedings, the petitioner (APC/Okowa) had tendered evidence which proved that over-voting had occurred in 61% of polling units across the state, and a subpoenaed
witness, Mrs. Abimbola Oladunjoye – who serves as a deputy director at the INEC IT department, also testified that the total accreditation figure for the Delta state gubernatorial election was 715,392, a
curious revelation as Okowa had been declared winner with 724,680 votes.
Although many had expected the panel to give a verdict ordering a full or partial rerun as in Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states respectively, the Tribunal ruled, instead, to affirm Okowa’s victory. This, they based on several technicalities, including “front-loading” regarding the testimony by the star witness, Mr. Ore Ohimoi – a detailed analysis which proved the aforementioned over-voting. This led to the said
testimony being expunged.
In his statement to the press, the chairman of APC in Delta state, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, described the ruling as an “evil judgment” and asked how the panel could have arrived at the conclusion that manual
accreditation took place when even the PDP’s star witness had stated in court that it did not. This, he called the “N3billion question” as he stated that the tribunal’s insistence on manual accreditation was a
convenient excuse which amounted to “helping” the PDP and Okowa.
He further said that it was shocking how the panel had both accepted that INEC had the authority to make the use of card readers mandatory and that non-compliance was enough grounds for cancellation of an election, yet went ahead to throw out the petitioner’s plea.
The Chairman, who also described the judgment as “cunning, patronizing and insulting to discerning legal minds”, went on to say that: “Emerhor will laugh last”. Fingers remain crossed as Emerhor and APC
proceed to take their case to the Appeal Court.