Delta Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Holds Inaugural Sitting

BY ANDY AKENI
Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has held its inaugural sitting in Asaba with a warning to lawyers, petitioners and respondents to avoid unnecessary delays as the tribunal will not entertain such but is ready to do justice to all cases before it within the time limit allowed by law.
The warning was handed down by the tribunal Chairman, Justice Nasiru Gummi while speaking during the inaugural sitting of the court in Asaba.
According to Justice Gummi, the warning is necessary so as to avoid unnecessary applications that will delay hearing of the cases before the court as we will not entertain since we must stick to the 180 days as allowed by law.
While calling on lawyers to cooperate and imbibe court room culture, Justice Gummi assured all of fairness and tasked the media on correct reportage of the tribunal activities. Responding, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Charles Ajuyah (SAN), welcomed the chairman and members of the tribunal to the state and assured them of cooperation while carrying out their duty in the state.
While tasking them to bring their wealth of experience to bear in discharging their assignment, the commissioner said that with them, he is sure that justice will prevail in all the cases before it.
Mr. Ajuyah also advised lawyers to protect the judiciary and act within the law as ministers in the temple of justice, handle their cases with utmost dispatch and not to run down the tribunal. He also appealed to the media to report proceedings of the tribunal accurately to avoid misinforming members of the public.
The High Court Chief Registrar, Barrister Celestina Dafe, who spoke on behalf of the state’s Acting Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro, welcomed the tribunal members and pledged cooperation of the judiciary in their assignment in the state. In the same vein, Mr. Chike Onyemenam, who responded on behalf of the Bar in the State joined others to welcome them and prayed God to give them divine wisdom to do justice to the cases filed in the tribunal.
Meanwhile, the tribunal yesterday granted the requests by three petitioners challenging the outcome of the governorship election, Chief Great Ogboru of Labour Party (LP), Chief Otega Emerhor of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr. Paul Isamade of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), for substituted service on Delta State Governor-elect, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, in the just concluded gubernatorial elections in the state and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The requests were made in separate ex-parte applications made by the legal teams of the petitioners before the tribunal, as they told the tribunal that they have tried severally to serve the respondents in person but without success, hence the requests for the substituted service.
Barrister Ediri Diejomooh represented Chief Great Ogboru and LP, Barrister Joseph Omonoseh, represented O’tega Emerhor and APC while Barrister Kehinde Edun stood for Mr. Paul Isamade and ACPN.
It would be recalled that after the just concluded governorship election in the state, dissatisfied with the outcome, the petitioners approached the tribunal to seek redress, alleging irregularities.