Law News
S-Court upholds Okowa’s election

The apex court, in a lead judgment by Justice Musa Muhammad, dismissed two separate appeals lodged against Okowa by candidates of the Labour Party, LP,   Chief Great Ogboru and that of All Progressives Congress, APC,  Olorogun O’ tega Emerhor, as grossly lacking in merit.

In a unanimous judgment, a seven-man panel of justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Walter Onnoghen, affirmed the verdicts of both the Court of Appeal and the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which earlier declared Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the winner of the electoral contest.

Ogboru had contended that the declaration of the election results in 21 of the 25 local government areas of the state were invalid on grounds of irregularities and over voting, adding that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced results before compilation was completed.

Meanwhile, Governor  Okowa, yesterday, told Emerhor and Chief Ogboru respectively to apologise to the people of the state for distracting the state with legal battles they knew they would not win.

Speaking during  a thanksgiving service held shortly after the Supreme Court upheld his election as duly elected governor of Delta State in Asaba, Okowa, said Emerhor and Ogboru knew that they did not win in the election, yet, “they went to the Elections Petition Tribunal, to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court, subjecting Deltans and lovers of the state to uncertainties.

“It is time to forgive and move on. I also believe that my opponents,  Emerhor and  Ogboru, should apologise to all Deltans because they knew the people’s choice but they just wanted to go through this legal process.

“I have forgiven them but, I think they need to apologise to Deltans because, they distracted the people.”

Similarly, in Asaba, a cross section of Deltans, yesterday described the apex court’s judgment as victory for the sustainable development of the state.

Urging all Deltans, particularly those in opposition parties to join hands with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP- led government of Dr Okowa, to move the state to another level, they stressed the need for Deltans to unite for a better future for the state and its citizenry.

Those who spoke to our correspondent include Olorogun John Oguma, Olorogun Talib Tebite, Denis Omovie,  Sheriff Oborevwori, Chief Solomon Ighrakpata, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, Mr Steve Ovedje, Elijah Ologe, Johnson Erijo and Tim Owhefere.

Similarly,   Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Monday Igbuya, has described the Supreme Court judgement as brilliant and straight forward.

He also said that Governor Okowa’s victory at the apex court was well deserved as “it is the will of a democratic majority.”

Igbuya in a statement, said, “Okowa’s victory at the Supreme Court should be seen as historic.”

In his reaction, Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Friday Osanebi, said that the victory was a testimony of God’s perfect handwork, adding that the serial legal victories of Governor Okowa testified to his divine ordination as governor.

On his part, Oguma said that the judgment was well deserved and anticipated, adding that the PDP worked hard for its victory at the April 11, 2015 governorship election.

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