Delta Guber: Tribunal strikes out Omo-Agege’s bid for ballot papers recount

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By Lateef Taiwo

The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Tuesday, dismissed an application for the counting of ballot papers used for the March 18 gubernatorial election which were tendered before it in evidence.

Counsel to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator
Ovie Omo-Agege, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, had in an oral application, said the ballot papers were already admitted in evidence and marked as exhibits.

He urged the tribunal to grant the application in the interest of justice, adding that it was in the interest of all parties.

Counsel to the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Joe Abugu had said that the commission stood by the result and figures in the declaration of the second respondent, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori as winner of the election.

He however said they would abide by the discretion of the tribunal to decide whether or not to recount.

Oborevwori’s counsel Damian Dodo, SAN, had objected to the application, saying that a case for a recount of ballot by the petitioner has not been made out.

He argued that a person who is dissatisfied with the results of the polls must first apply for a recount at the polling unit. He noted that nothing from pages 1 to102 of the petition showed that the petitioner demanded for a recount at any of the 1333 polling units in question.

He also said there was nowhere in the body of the petition where the petitioner sought a relief for recount of ballot papers.

On his part, Counsel to the third respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ekeme Ohwovoriole, SAN, had described the application as unmeritorious and adopted in it’s entirety, the submission of the Counsel of the second respondent.

The three-man tribunal panel HEADED by Justice C.O Ahuchaogu, in its ruling said such discretion cannot be done in an oral application.

“There is no merit in this oral application for recount and it is hereby dismissed”, Ahuchaogu said.

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