The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, has dismissed the petitions filed by the governorship candidates of the Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the election of Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa as governor on April 11, 2015.
The candidates: Great Ogboru (LP) and O'tega Emerhor (APC) challenged the declaration of Mr. Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner with 724,680 votes, defeating Ogboru who polled 130,028 votes, and Emerhor with 67,825 votes.
Delivering the controversial judgement, which is said to have been written by the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpo, and handed over to the three-man panel, Justice Nasir Gunmi, the chairman, today dismissed the petitions for what he described as lack of merit and the inability by the petitioners to prove their cases beyond reasonable doubt.
Reacting to the judgment, the Delta state chairman of the LP, Tony Ezeagwu, said the judgement was unexpected and that his party would be heading to the Court of Appeal.
Also reacting, the Delta state chairman of the APC, Prophet Jones Erue, the Director General of the Emerhor campaign organisation, Hon. Benjamin Ogbalor and the running mate to O'tega Emerhor, Ogbuefi V.O.T. Abanum, described the judgement as a miscarriage of justice, alleging that it was allegedly bought over by the Okowa and PDP.
Addressing a press conference at the APC state secretariat in Asaba shortly after the judgement, they stressed that the judgment did not reflect the feelings of Deltans.
It would be recalled that some weeks ago, the state chief judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro, infiltrated the tribunal judges and a whopping sum of N3billion was doled out by Governor Okowa to buy judgements of the governorship, State House of Assembly and the National Assembly.