Delta Election Tribunal: Gov. Okowa Legal Team Frustrated, Petition To Be Determined On Merit

Source: Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe.

The legal tussle at the Delta State Election Tribunal is gradually gathering momentum as Chief Thompson Okpoko (SAN) and his legal team tackles three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria led by Alex Iziyon (SAN), employed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

The game plan of the Okowa legal team is solely to dig-up a "technical ground" to quash the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the April 11 election, Olorogun O'tega Emerhor (OON). Trust the diligent prosecution skills of Chief Okpoko who became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on the 27th day of February, 1987. Slow but steady, the Chairman of Body of Benchers (2004) knocked off all manner of legal scheming put forward by the Okowa team.

Relevant sections of the amended Electoral Act has indeed made it possible for election petitions to be heard and determined on merit and never again to be quashed on cheap technical grounds. But the PDP/Okowa team are hell bent on looking for "cheap technical" loopholes to send the petitioners case to an early grave. Trust the legal know-how of Justice Nasiru Gumi who repeatedly drummed it in the ears of the three senior advocates on the Gov Okowa side that his tribunal is all out to do justice and justice only is good enough without fear or favour.

The petitioners are in high hopes, just as Olorogun O'tega Emerhor and majority of Deltans are optimistic that the victory of Senator Okowa is a product of electoral fraud and several malpractices. Deltans are yearning for "air of freedom" from the satanic grip of the PDP in the State, from 1999 till date. Okowa's popularity rating has declined rapidly since May 29. His first "gross misconduct" was perfected within 72 hours after taking Oath of office. He sacked over 3,000 civil servants and launched a White Elephant project of 6,000 jobs for Deltans so as to obtain N150 billion loan from various financial institutions. When obtained, the loan will certainly find its way into private pockets and further increase the debt profile of Delta State. Of a truth, PDP has ruined Delta State, economically.

During the April 11 Governorship elections in Delta State, some persons suspected to be officials or agents of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as PDP agents and political thugs were caught on camera thumb-printing ballot papers for the PDP. APC supporters in some parts of the state were chased out of polling stations, some were beaten thoroughly, INEC result sheets manipulated and PDP simply allocated figures to APC and the Labour Party. To make it look as if the APC and its candidate were insignificant, the evil merchants at INEC and the PDP placed the Labour Party and its candidate second position with little above a hundred thousand votes and in the same token allocated less than eighty thousand votes to the APC and placing it in the third position.

The rigging wizardry of the PDP and its political tacticians came to light as some of their agents involved in ballot box stuffing were arrested and others recorded on video and posted on social media. There is also a conflict between the number of voters captured by the INEC card readers and figures declared at the end of the governorship election.

For real, the Tribunal Chairman and his able colleagues have demonstrated high level integrity such that the PDP and its candidate will not be able to get away with the stolen mandate. As it is today, 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) will not be able to help Governor Okowa remain in Government House more than 90 days from May 29, 2015. Thereafter, Deltans will have another opportunity to elect their progressive Governor to commence socio-economic transformation of Delta State. Olorogun O'tega Emerhor sure have a date with destiny. For now, Okowa is a caretaker.