The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja today, Friday, November 15, 2019 dismissed the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate Great Ogboru against the election of Ifeanyi Okowa as Governor of Delta State.
A five-member panel of the appellate court led by Justice Uzo Ndukwe-Anyanwu, in a unanimous judgment, dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and upheld the judgment of the lower tribunal.
The panel held that the judgment of the lower tribunal could not be set aside unless where it was perverse.
They further held that the appellants failed to prove their case.
Respondents in the appeal are Okowa, the Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Ogboru and his party, APC prayed the court to upturn the decision of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which returned Okowa for a second term as governor.
The appellants in 37 grounds of appeal filed by their counsel, Nicholson Ichekor, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the entire judgment of the tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in law when it dismissed their appeal for lacking in merit.
The three-member panel of the governorship election panel led by Justice Suleiman Belgore, had in September dismissed Ogboru and APC’s petition against the return of Governor Okowa on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove the cases of irregularities and malpractices claimed in their petition.
However, in the appeal against the decision of the tribunal, Ogboru and APC argued that the lower court erred in law when it relied on the issue of over-voting instead of allocation of votes as canvassed in their petition to dismiss their petition.
However, in response to the appeal, Okowa and the PDP urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss Ogboru and APC’s appeal for being incompetent and unmeritorious.
In their brief of argument by Mr Damien Dodo, SAN and Mr Akinlolu Kehinde, SAN for Okowa and PDP respectively, the respondents submitted that the appellants failed to prove their allegations of over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
The respondents claimed that they have led cogent, credible and reliable evidence to show that they won the governorship election held on March 9 in Delta.
• Source: Punch