“The Delta Governorship Election Tribunal today adjourned to issue its pre-trial report on Friday, August 7, 2015. The pre-trial report will provide a roadmap for the trial of Chief Great Ogboru’s Election Petition against Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, PDP and INEC. Clearly, this is not positive news for the senator who struggled unsuccessfully to prevent Ogboru from moving his petition to the trial stage.
Ogboru who once personally appeared in court in the course of the pre-trial had earlier given his firm commitment that nothing would stop the trial of the petition. The decision of the Tribunal to move to the trial stage is a vindication of that conviction and a clear danger to Okowa’s PDP regime.
Before now, Ogboru’s legal team led by Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN) had formulated seven issues for the Tribunal to determine. Amongst others, they are praying the Tribunal to make a consequential order declaring Chief Ogboru as the winner of the election on the ground that all votes received by Senator Okowa are unlawful, invalid, null and void.
Ogboru/LP’s lawyers are contending that since Okowa’s votes alone are more than total accredited voters in virtually all polling units, then it his votes alone that are responsible for over-voting in the election. If so, then he must suffer the consequences of over-voting alone. In order words, the Card Reader technology has clearly separated Okowa’s votes as unlawful for being above accreditation whilst the votes of other contestants that are within accreditation are the only valid votes. It is the firm contention of the team that on this basis and several others, Ogboru won the election based on lawful and valid votes.
The legal team also contend in the alternative that should the Tribunal come to a different conclusion that the election was too senselessly rigged, then it should cancel the election and disqualify Okowa/PDP from participating in a re-run election.
Now, the point needs to be made that Ogboru’s petition is a really hot lightening rod of offense. Without question, there is a firm determination to remove Okowa. There is a clear plan to clear him from Delta’s electoral space if he and/or PDP are indeed adjudged as being responsible for the “senseless rigging” of April 11, 2015.
We can only ask our people to remain calm and focused on the real issues, facts and truths. This struggle is beyond empty talks and cheap propaganda. The decision to end impunity in Delta has been finally made and it is irrevocable. That decision has the support of true leaders everywhere in this nation. We need the support of all well-meaning Deltans during the trial. We shall overcome.”