Again, Okowa Floors Ogboru At Appeal Court


Hopes by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Delta State, Chief Great Ogboru, in his case against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa were dashed Thursday by the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja.

Okowa, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 governorship election in the state was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and sworn-in as governor.

The Appeal Court dismissed Ogboru's appeal in a unanimous judgment by the five-man panel led by Justice Uwani Abba-Aji.

According to the Appeal Court, Ogboru's appeal lacks merit. This was the same position declared by the Election Petition Tribunal which had earlier dismissed the petition against Okowa's election victory.

Ogboru, who was seeking nullification of the poll, had challenged the declaration of Okowa by INEC alleging that the election was marred by overvoting.

He argued that the total number of votes cast was more than the number accredited by the card reader used for the election and that the conduct of the election did not substantially comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act of the country.

After the petition was thrown out by the tribunal sitting in Asaba in October, Ogboru headed to the Court of Appeal in Benin.

However, the court moved to Abuja to deliver the judgment in which Justice Abba-Aji ruled that Ogboru simply relied on records of the card reader accreditation without demonstrating the documents by credible evidence.

The judge held that Ogboru never challenged the evidence of the respondents and even his own witnesses that the card readers had challenges in many part of the states and that as a result, there were some resort to manual accreditation of voters.

According to her, Ogboru should have proven that the card reader machines functioned effectively during the election in the state.

With this argument, it would have been easy for him to rely on the card readers.