Delta gov: PDP closes case, fails to call witnesses

Delta Tribunal

The Peoples Democratic Party closed its case at the Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, on Friday without calling a single witness.

The PDP is the second defendant in the case before the tribunal, in which the state’s governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, and the APC have challenged the declaration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP as the winner of the April 11 poll in the state.

The Justice Nasiru Gunmi-led tribunal had adjourned on Wednesday to allow the PDP starts its defence on Friday (today) by calling its witnesses, having filed over 50 witness statements on oath.

Okowa, who is the first respondent in the case, had on Wednesday closed his defence after calling three witnesses out of 20, who were initially slated to testify before the three-man panel.

At the resumed sitting of the tribunal on Friday, PDP’s counsel, Chief Timothy Kehinde (SAN), announced that he would no longer be calling on any of the scheduled 50 witnesses.

Kehinde explained that he would rely on the testimonies of the witnesses already called by the first respondent and his earlier cross examination of the petitioners’ witnesses.

He added that the party had closed its defence at the tribunal.

Justice Gunmi directed the Independent National Electoral Commission, which is the third correspondent in the case, to begin its defence.

INEC’s counsel, however, pleaded with the tribunal to be allowed to open its defence next week to allow the commission sufficient time to prepare and call its witnesses.

The tribunal adjourned hearing in the petition to Tuesday.

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