THE 3-man Delta State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Asaba the State capital, Thursday got another shocker when one of the petitioner’s witnesses, Mr Turner Ogboru, younger brother of Chief Great Ogboru disagreed with their counsel on a point of law.
Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour Party, LP in the Tribunal challenging the victory of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa at the April 11 polls. The tribunal chaired by Justice Nasiru Gunmi at his resummed hearing of the petition invited the petitioners 13th prosecution witness, Mr. Turner Ogboru.
Soon after the petitioner’s counsel, Mr. Dele Adesino, SAN concluded with the preliminary examination of the witness and the subsequent adoption of the witness written statement deposition of oath, he (Adesino) moved to tender bundle of documents contained in about three ‘Ghana must go’ sacks but met a brick wall following the objection raised by counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Ken Mozia.
Mozia argued that the document sought to be tendered by the petitioner was not listed in the petition, neither was it frontloaded.
Adesino who stood his grounds that the document which he sought to tender contained voters register insisted that it was listed in the petition as material that they would rely on to argue their case.
PDP and INEC counsels, Mr. John Okoriko who stood in for Mr. Timothy Kehinde, SAN and Mr. Anumoye , who represented Dr. Dodo, SAN respectively randomly opposed Adesino’s move to tender the documents.
The legal fireworks which ensued between the counsels prompted the presiding judge, Justice Gunmi to adjourn briefly to enable him give a ruling on the matter.
While Justice Gunmi who resumed sitting after about 30 minutes of adjournment, was trying to inform the tribunal that, the panel would have to further take another adjournment till next week following the falling health condition of one of the tribunal members, Dr. Alex Iziyon, SAN and his INEC counterpart breezed into the tribunal room and altered the course of the tribunal proceedings.
Iziyon and Dodo who upon entering into the tribunal, immediately assumed their positions as lead counsels, informed the tribunal and the petitioners counsel on the need to withdraw the application challenging their motion to tender electoral documents.
Iziyon told the court that he was prepared to allow the documents to go in and that if there was any need to think otherwise, that it could be challenged in their written address to the tribunal.
The petitioner’s counsel Adesino initially aligned with the position of the respondent to withdraw the application, but suddenly, made a u-turn and asked the court to give a ruling on the matter as both parties have extensively engaged themselves in legal argument on the issue.
Sensing the danger of Adesino’s submission,the witness, Turner Ogboru, became restless, shuffled and trembling in the witness box as all attempt to communicate to Adesino through gesturing failed.
Ogboru who could no longer hold back said, “we have no objection to the application of the respondents to withdraw the application challenging the admissibility of the documents in view of the previaling circumstances to ensure speedy trail.”