Delta Guber: Ogboru Drops Bid To Inspect Election Materials
…As Tribunal Adjourns Till July 23
SAN FRANCISCO, July 10, (THEWILL) – A The Labour Party (LP) governorship aspirant in the governorship election in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, Friday, has dropped his bid to inspect materials used for the elections.
He made his decision known during the proceedings at the state governorship election petition tribunal as he withdrew a motion – on – notice he had earlier filed.
Ogboru, who was represented by his counsel, Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN), had filed a motion before the tribunal urging it to compel Independent National Electorial Commission (INEC) to make available and allow him inspect materials used for the April governorship election in the state.
In the motion, Ogboru, among other prayers, is asking the tribunal to bar respondents in his petition (PDP and INEC) from participating or present during the inspection , arguing that such will hinder the smooth adjudication of the matter.
However, lead counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa , PDP and INEC, Dr. Alex Izyion (SAN), represented by Mr. Ken Mozie, while opposing the motion , said “we are not opposed to the motion to inspect the electoral materials but we want to be joined during the inspection.”
According to him, “today's motion is not the same motion of yesterday which came my way of ex-parte motion, the reliefs sought in this motions on notice have increased, and if we are not joined in the inspection, we will oppose it and we will need time to espouse our argument.
'We received the application, for reasons which I will indicate, we would require time to oppose this application, to file our reaction, I say so because yesterday (Thursday) when there was an indication that they had an ex-parte motion, we had indicated we will not oppose, but we want joint inspection, and they indicated they will withdraw reliefs three and four, but today( Friday) they went back and filed a motion.
“Not only have they increased the reliefs sought, they have expressly indicated that instead of joint inspection, they are asking for liberty to attend if we so desire.”
He argued that Ogboru's motion indicated that an affidavit has been deposited by a lawyer, saying he has an experience that joint inspection will frustrate the inspection.
His words: “My lord, my experience spanning over decades have exposed the danger of allowing one party to have unrestricted access to sensitive materials, so we want time so that we can join issues.”
At this point, Ogboru's counsel, who was represented by Mr. Robert Emukpoeruo, quickly informed the tribunal of his plan to withdraw the petition, saying, “I plead your lordship's indulgence to withdraw this application.”
The Tribunal Chairman, Mr. Nasiru Dunmi, who had earlier given three separate rulings from the day's proceedings was left with no other choice than to strike out the motion.
Gunmi also turned down the application made by APC governorship candidate, Olorogun O'tegar Emerhor, seeking for extension of time to enable him perfect some documentation.
Emerhor had earlier made the oral application at the commencement of proceeding through his counsel, Mr. Thomson Opkoko (SAN), but Gunmi over ruled the application, urging Emerhor to follow due process by filing a motion on notice to the effect.
This came after INEC and PDP legal team vehemently opposed to the application for extension of time.
The tribunal chairman also adjourned further hearing in the matter to July 23 and 24 for the continuation of pre-trial conference in the petition.