Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Chief Great Ogboru at a recent function.

By Onome Oghenetega

The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will on Friday, September 20, 2019, deliver judgement on the petition filled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state, Chief Great Ogboru.

Ogboru is challenging the declaration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

WARRI TODAY had earlier in the week reported that the tribunal will be delivering her judgement this weekend.

This medium also reported that there is an uneasy calm on the camp of Governor Okowa and the PDP fearing the latest judgement annulling the election of Senator James Manager of the PDP in the petition filed by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, APC candidate for Delta South.

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Ogboru and the APC in the petition marked EPT/DT/GOV/01/2019, are praying the tribunal to cancel the election over alleged irregularities, over voting and substantial non-compliance to the Electoral Act and guidelines during the election.

The petitioners urged the court to nullify the election and order INEC to conduct a fresh exercise, or in the alternative, declare him winner on the ground that he scored majority of lawful votes cast at the poll.

Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Sulaiman Belgore adjourned the matter for judgment after counsels to the respective parties had adopted their final written.

In their final written addresses, counsels to the first respondent (Gov. Okowa), D.D. Dodo; second respondent (PDP), A.T. Kehinde; and third respondent (INEC), John Olusola urged the tribunal to dismissed the petition for lacking in merit, incompetent, adding that the petition suffered a shipwreck.

But petitioners’ counsel, Nichols Icheko urged the tribunal to grant the prayers, insisting the allegations of rigging and over voting were proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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However, it was learnt on Wednesday that palpable tension has greeted both parties of Governor Okowa and Ogboru ahead of the ruling.

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The Delta State APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Sylvester Imonina, had earlier boasted that Chief Ogboru will win at the tribunal, adding that the party  was already sighting Government House Asaba.

Imonina, a lawyer, said,  “We are very very hopeful in respect of the tribunal judgement that will be delivered in no distance time. The legal team of the party did a marvelous job and we are expecting nothing short of victory.

“God being on our side will come victorious. We are calling on all members of party to be patient and pray for our governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru. We are seeing the land of Canaan – Delta State Government House – already. We are about to possess the land of Canaan.”

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