Nigeria, September 15, 2015, (Blank NEWS Online) –
Delta State governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has formally opened his defence in the petition filed at the Delta State governorship election petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the state capital.
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, September 14, 2015 the second Respondent witness Festus Ovie Agas, under examination by Okowa’s counsel, Mr. Alex Izyon (SAN), told the Tribunal that from the election results from INEC records, that Okowa scored the highest votes cast during the election to emerge the winner of the polls in the state.
Agas said PDP victory in the governorship election did not come as a surprise because PDP has always won its elections in the state as the PDP has dorminated the political space in the state since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999.
Agas informed the court that Okowa’s victory was a continuation of a pattern of PDP’s victory in Delta state politics, stating that the PDP won 23 seats out of the 29 seats of the state House of Assembly.
The witness told the Tribunal that he cast his vote as a good citizen during the elections at Oteri town, in Unit 1 of word 2/6 of Ughelli North local government area and that most of the political parties had their agents in the polling units where he followed the due process of INEC accreditation which culminated into his voting in the presence of all security agents deployed to man the election
He also told the Tribunal that although, the card reader did not fail while he was being accredited to vote but that there were few instances where the card reader failed and the INEC officials were instructed by their superiors to resort to the use of manual accreditations through the use of the voters register, adding that PDP also won overwhelmingly in the Presidential election in the state.
Also, under examination by the INEC , PDP and Okowa’s counsels; Dr. Demain Dodo (SAN), Timothy Kehinde (SAN) and Alex Izyon (SAN) respectively, the first respondent witness Mr. Ikechukwu Akuzor, a local government collation officer for PDP, told the Tribunal that he stood by all the depositions in his statement on oath.
He said from his observation during the governorship election in the state, election material and results he collected were not tempered with, adding that the result of the election is a true reflection of the wishes and aspiration of the Ndokwa people.
Meanwhile, the Tribunal had earlier quashed an objection brought by APC and Otega’s Counsel, Chief Thompson Okpoko challenging the moves by Counsel to Okowa, Mr. Izyion (SAN) to tender CTC of election results to the tribunal through the witnesses.
But the three man panel of Tribunal chaired by Justice Nasiru Gunmi held that the document sought to be tendred were relevant and will help to advance the course of justice in the matter. The Petitioners were therefore overruled and the documents were admitted and marked as exhibits before the Tribunal. Further hearing on the matter has been fixed for15th September, 2015.
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