Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal commenced formal sitting in Asaba, Wednesday, hearing the petitions filed by three candidates in the April 11 gubernatorial elections in the state.
The petitioners include; Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour Party, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr. Paul Isamade of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).
Three petitions are before the three-man tribunal headed by Justice Nasiru Gunmi, challenging the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 11 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the application filed by Ogboru and the Labour Party on May 5, 2015, the tribunal ordered the originating processes should be served on the respondents by either serving the processes on the state secretary of the PDP or any principal officer of the party or by pasting same at the state secretariat of the PDP on Mariam Babangida Way, Asaba.
In the case of Emerhor and APC, the tribunal granted the prayers of the applicants, directing that the processes should be served by pasting same at the last known addresses of the respondents which are located at Owa-Oyibu in Ika North-East council area and No. 1, Core Area, Anwai Road, Asaba.
Also granted was the application by Isamade and the ACPN in which the tribunal ordered that the processes should be pasted at conspicuous places at the secretariat of the first repondent (INEC), residence of the second respondent (Okowa) and state secretariat of the third respondent (PDP).
Earlier in their respective presentations, counsel to Ogboru, Ediri Diejomaoh; counsel to Emerhor, Joseph Omonoseh; and counsel Isamade, Kehinde Edun had told the tribunal that the respondents were evading service, hence the application.
Meanwhile, at the tribunal’s inaugural sitting, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Nasiru Gunmi urged all stakeholders to give team maximum support for the tribunal to succeed in its role of ensuring that justice is done to the petitions.
While specifically enjoining counsel to the litigants to avoid unnecessary applications for adjournment, he also urged politicians and their supporters to maintain utmost decorum during and after each tribunal sitting.
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Delta State, Charles Ajuyah (SAN), implored the tribunal to dispassionately look into the petitions with the objective of ensuring that justice is done.