The Delta State Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, has ordered staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission to give testimony on the conduct of the April 11 governorship poll, dismissing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s objection.
The Delta election, won by Mr. Okowa of Peoples Democratic Party, is challenged by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Olorogun Emerhor.
Mr. Okowa, the PDP and INEC are joined as defendants in the case.
Mr. Emerhor was billed to call witnesses from INEC on Tuesday, but could not do so following restraining motions filed by Mr. Okowa’s lawyer, Alex Uziyon.
On Friday, the three-man panel tribunal led by Justice Nasiru Gunmi said there was no reason INEC staff should not give testimony.
A motion filed by the governor seeking to stop the electoral officials from appearing, lacked merit, the judge ruled.
Mr. Emerhor’s counsel, Thompson Okpoko, argued that the PDP and Mr. Okowa had no justification to challenge the order served on INEC which conducted the election.
It is the responsibility of INEC to show evidence that the election was conducted in line with the laws, Mr. Okpoko said.
However, INEC counsel, Damien Dodo, described the summon as a “tactical manoeuvre by the petitioner to bring documents that were not pleaded nor were listed”.
But the Justice Gunmi-led Tribunal reaffirmed the order served on INEC.
The case was adjourned to Tuesday, 25 August 2015, for commencement of trial.
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