By Vivian Okejeme
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, yesterday, reserved judgment in the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Great Ogboru, challenging the election of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as Governor of Delta State.
The appellants are asking the appeal court to set aside the judgment of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which returned Okowa for a second term as governor of Delta State.
Ogboru and his party, had through their counsel, Nicholson Ichekor, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the entire judgment of the tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in law when it dismissed their appeal for lacking in merit.
After listening to the brief of arguments submitted by the parties in the matter, the five-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu, reserved judgement to a later date.
It will be recall that the three-man panel of the governorship election panel led by Justice Suleiman Belgore had in September dismissed Ogboru and APC’s petition against the return of Governor Okowa on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove the cases of irregularities and malpractices claimed in their petition.
However in the appeal against the decision of the tribunal, Ogboru and APC argued that the lower court erred in law when it relied on the issue of over voting instead of allocation of votes as canvassed in their petition to dismiss their petition.
Responding to the appeal, Okowa and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss Ogboru and APC’s appeal for being incompetent and unmeritorious.
The respondents through their counsel, Damien Dodo (SAN) and Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), respectively, submitted that the appellants failed to prove their allegations of over voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
They maintained that they have led cogent, credible and reliable evidence to show that they won the governorship election.
The argued that the appellants failed to prove how their claims of over voting and non-compliance substantially affected the results of the election.