Omos Oyinbode, Asaba
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Delta, Prophet Jones Ode Erue, has said that his party lost the tribunal judgment to members of the panel and not Okowa as the proceedings and the evidences that were presented even from Okowa’s star witness, Ovie Festus Agas, were substantial evidences to rule in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said the judgment the tribunal delivered in favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was a pretentious and patronizing judgment and an insult to the discerning minds of legal luminaries.
Erue made the position known after a five days careful analysis of the over three hours judgment delivered by the tribunal on Monday, October 26, where the tribunal led by Justice Nasiru Gunmi ruled out the prayers of the APC guber candidate, Olorogun Otega Emerhor.
The APC Chairman said the tribunal played on the sensibilities of the petitioners and their supporters by asserting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had power to set electoral guidelines which should be duly complied with and failure to comply could lead to disqualification of such elections, a submission which was the prayer of the petitioners.
He also said that the tribunal’s admittance of the non-use of card readers or non-compliance with electoral laws as enough ground to disqualify elections were jettisoned as the tribunal’s final verdict was influenced by an alleged bribe of N3bn offered by the respondents to the three man judges.
He revealed the failure of the judges describing their actions as cunning, patronizing and insulting to discerning legal minds even as he said the judgment was a grave travesty of justice and a major setback to the rule of law and ongoing regime of the dismantling of impunity in the nation’s electoral process.
In his words “the judgment fed on deception, pretenses and subterfuge! Generally, the panel pretended to uphold the core case of the petitioners but went ahead to somersault against them. This they did by wittingly and pretentiously accepting and ruling that INEC has powers to make guidelines for the elections including the designation of Card Readers for mandatory use in the elections and that the non-use of card readers and/or non-compliance with INEC guidelines is sufficient ground to prove non-compliance with the Electoral Act which is a firm ground for cancellation of an election as is the plea of the petitioners.
“These were the prayers of the petitioners but the tribunal went ahead to defend the three respondents and expunged evidences even adduced by the respondents’ star witnesses, Ovie Agas, Secretary to the State Government who said manual accreditation was resorted to upon failure of the card readers”.
Following the argument and eventual award of victory to Senator Okowa and the PDP, Prophet Erue said the tribunal judgment was lost to members of the panel who were compromised and sold their integrity on the altar of an alleged N3bn bribe offered to them.
“As you can see from the foregoing, the petitioners lost the case to the panel and not Okowa and PDP! That is why they should be mindful of their celebration which shall be very short live!
APC Delta state roundly rejects this evil judgment which was clearly procured by means other than legal! This is a daylight robbery with too many finger prints left behind. Our legal teams already have our instructions and we will surely meet Okowa and PDP and test this robbery at the appeal court!
In the meantime, we will like to use this opportunity to appeal to our APC party faithful, supporters and well-wishers to be calm and be of high spirit! The end of PDP 16 plus years of misrule in Delta is insight!”=END=