#DeltaTribunal: Judges Frown at INEC’s Failure to Commence Defence
The Delta state election petition tribunal sitting in Asaba, on Tuesday, frowned at the failure of the counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr D. D. Dodo (SAN) to commence their defence by calling their witnesses listed to appear before the tribunal.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) and its gubernatorial candidate Olorogun O’tega Emerhor are challenging the declaration of Okowa as the winner of the governorship election held on April 11 at the tribunal.
At the resumed hearing of the petition, INEC was expected to open its defense by calling witnesses as well as present their documentary evidence for adoption and closing its case; however, INEC’s counsel, D.D. Dodo (SAN) represented by Mr Onyinye Anumonye, instead, pleaded for a second adjournment after the last granted to them Wednesday last week.
Making the oral application, Mr Anumonye told the tribunal that the document INEC sought to tender is not yet available, adding that the INEC witness who was billed to testify at the tribunal, called to say that she was indisposed.
But counsel to the petitioner, Chief Thomson Okpoko (SAN) objected to the application on the ground that the excuses given are not tenable and that the tribunal barely has less than 30days to deliver judgment.
In a short ruling delivered by the tribunal Chairman, Justice Nasiru Gumi; “We frown at this adjournment sought by the third respondents (INEC) to fifth respondents when the tribunal does not even have up to 35 days or there about to deliver its judgment”.
He added that due to this adjournment, the tribunal will abridge the time for counsel to submit and adopt their written addresses not more than two weeks from 30th of September 2015 in order to give the tribunal at least two weeks to write and deliver its judgment. He however adjourned till Wednesday September 30th for resumption of hearing.