The Highs and Lows of 2023 Election Tribunal in Delta State

The National Election Tribunals for the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections held in Delta State has resumed sitting in the State Capital, Asaba.

Prominent among the Petitions is the Petition of the candidate of the APC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who is challenging the election of the Governor-Elect, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori.

Whilst there are several petitions challenging elections into the State House of Assembly elections as well as of the National Assembly seats, all eyes are on challenges to the Governor-elect, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP.

Esther Esevohe and the Action Alliance are also challenging the election of Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori.

Also, in the fray is Mr. Kenneth Gbagi who is suing Oborevwori along with the candidates of the APC, the Labour Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Great Ogboru for the outcome of the same Governorship election.

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Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in his petition alleges fraudulent counting, collation, recording of false results and declaration of the results across the 25 Local Government areas in the State and contends that he be declared the winner of the election through the lawful votes cast during the election.

Pre-hearing in the Governorship petitions have been fixed for Monday 15th May 2023.

At the heart of the petition is the ascertainment of the valid votes cast and recorded for the candidates in the election.

In a charge at the INEC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has filed motions for safe custody of the ballot papers, production of same by INEC and a re-count by the tribunal appointed officers assisted by representatives of the parties.

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This has sent shivers to the PDP and INEC. Pressure is on INEC to produce the ballot papers, the basis upon which it declared Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, the Governor-elect.

Political watchers suspect that a ballot recount will expose the rigging machinery of the PDP across the Local Governments in the elections.

Will INEC fail to rely on the ballots its officials used to declare the Winner of the Election? Will the PDP be bold enough to have the ballots counted? Will the Tribunal buckle and not want to count the ballot papers? These are material questions that will unfold in Asaba in the new week.

The Supreme Court decision on the relevance of BVAS in proving over-voting and affirming the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke as Governor of Osun state is making waves across all tribunals in the country.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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