Delta Guber: Ogboru Makes U-turn, Drops Motion to Inspect Election Materials

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Labour Party (LP) governorship aspirant in the just concluded governorship election in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, yesterday made   a dramatic u-turn  during  proceedings at   the state governorship  election  petition tribunal when he  hurriedly  withdrew  a motion –on –notice  seeking to  inspect   election materials.

Ogboru, through his counsel, Mr. Dele Adesino (SAN) had approached the tribunal urging it to compel Independent National Electorial Commission (INEC) to make available and allow for inspection of materials used in the conduct of April governorship election in the state.

Ogboru , among other prayers in the notion also prayed the tribunal to bar respondents in his petition( PDP and INEC)  from participating or been present during the inspection , arguing that such will hinder the smooth adjudication of the matter.

While opposing the motion, lead counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa ,  PDP, INEC  Dr. Alex Izyion (SAN), represented by Mr. Ken Mozie  objected vehemently to the teams  for  the inspection, arguing that “we are not opposed to the motion to inspect the  electoral materials but we want to be joined during the inspection”

Mozie further pointed out that “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 required out 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 an 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 further state that  Ogboru’s  motion indicated that “ an affidavit has been deposited  by a lawyer saying that he has an experience that joint inspection will frustrate the inspection and trailer “arguing that “my lord my experience spanning over s decade have exposed the danger of allowing one party to unrestricted access to sensitive material, so we want time so that we join issues”.     

It was at this point that, Ogboru through his counsel, Mr. Adesino, who was represented by Mr. Robert Emukpoeruo, quickly made a u-turn, informing the tribunal of their desire to withdraw the petition, saying ,  “I plead your lordship indulgence to withdraw this application”.  

Consequent upon this ground, Tribunal Chairman, Mr. Nasiru Dunmi, who had earlier giving three separate rulings from the day’s proceedings struck out the motion?

In a similar ruling justice Gunmi  also rejected the application made by All Progressive Congress (APC)  governorship aspirant, Olorogun O’tegar  Emerhor , seeking for the extension of time  from  the tribunal 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) for extention of time. But the tribunal chairman, Gunmi, over ruled that 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.  

Justice Gunmi , also ruled that pre-hearing conference in the petition commenced since 23rd of June 2015, saying that all the tribunal proceeding  from that date  till  now  should be deemed to be a pre-trial hearing in the petition.

Justice Gunmi,  however, adjourned tribunal   proceedings to 23rd and 24th of July 2015  for the continuation of  pre-trail conference  in the petition.