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Appeal Court reserves judgment in Emerhor’s suit




THE Court of Appeal Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State has reserved judgment in the appeal challenging the judgment of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Asaba, which on October 26, upheld the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the April 11 gubernatorial election in the state.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had approached the Appeal approached the appellate court in a notice of appeal with petition number, CA/B/EPT / 2015, filed by their counsel Chief Thomson Okpoko, SAN asking the court to set aside the judgment and order a rerun election in the state. 

In the 11 grounds of appeal, the appellants averred that, “the learned Justices erred in law when they failed to nullify the election due to substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act, INEC guidelines and over-voting in 61 per cent of the polling units in the state.”

They also alleged a resort to manual accreditation instead of the mandatory use of card readers.

Okpoko, while adopting and relying on his written addresses, contended that the lower tribunal chose to ignore the preponderance of evidence before it, urging the appellate court to allow the appeal and annulled the election as required by law. He also sought the outright dismissal of the cross appeal of the respondents as lacking in merit.

The counsel to first respondent (Okowa), Alex Iziyon (SAN); second respondent (PDP), Timothy Kehinde (SAN) and third respondent (INEC), Damian Dodo (SAN); urged the court to dismiss the appeal with substantial cost against the petitioners, stating that the appeal lacks merit.

Chairman of the five-man panel of judges, Justice Uwani Abba-Aji, while reserving judgment said the date of ruling would be communicated to the parties, assuring them that justice will be done.

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