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Delta Guber: Tribunal Dismisses APC, O'tega's Motions

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 03, (THEWILL) – A three-man panel of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal chaired by Justice Nasiru Gunmi Monday in Asaba, threw out another set of five motions brought by All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Olorungun O'tega Emerhor.

Emerhor and the APC had sought the leave of the tribunal for enlargement of time to include additional information to their petition.

The motion also sought the tribunal's permission to compel PDP and INEC by way of response, to furnish the tribunal with more facts about the petition.

Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), counsel to the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, vehemently opposed the application after adopting his written address and submitted that section 45(1) of the electoral act is not a magic umbrella, adding that the Electoral Act forbids the tribunal the powers to grant the application. He further argued that rules advanced by the petitioner are not tenable.

On their part, counsel to PDP and INEC, A.T Kehinde and Damian D. Dodo (SAN) respectively, also opposed the application, relying on Section 285(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 134 of the Electoral Act. They informed the tribunal that the combined effect of the two sections curtails the powers of the tribunal to grant the extension of time.

Chairman of the Tribunal Justice Nasiru Gunmi, in his ruling on the motion said the application lacked merit because it violates section 17(1)(2) of the Electoral Act, as Emerhor and APC failed to keep within the time limit of 10 days within which to file their motion.

Justice Gunmi averred that “If a party in an election petition, wishes to have further particulars or other directions about the tribunal, such party may do so at any time but not more than 10 days after the filing of the reply from the respondents”, adding “that if the party does not apply as provided for in the Electoral Act, it is taken that they do not require any further particulars or direction” and the prayers shall be granted.”