The Benin division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday, reserved ruling to an unannounced date in an appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor (APC) against the judgements of the Delta State Election Petition Tribunal, which declared Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the governorship election.
The same court also deferred ruling to the future in an appeal filed by Labour Party and Chief Great Ogboru against the declaration of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa by the election tribunal in Asaba.
The APC and Olorogun Emerhor had filed 11 grounds of appeal through his counsel, Chief T.J.Okpoko (SAN), following the validation of Okowa’s election by the tribunal.
Okpoko (SAN), after adopting his brief of argument, urged the appellate court to dismiss the cross appeal as it lacked merit and upheld the applicant’s appeal.
Some of his grounds of appeal included that, “the Learned Justices erred in law in resolving against the appellants that the Petition was incompetent on the ground of non-compliance with the procedural rule in paragraph 4 (3) (b) of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
On the averments by the respondents/appellants that the appellant never pleaded for a re-run of the election at the lower tribunal and was now asking for it at the appellant court, Chief Okpoko said that they were relying on the old Section 140 of Electoral Act of 2002, saying that section 33(b) of the Electoral Act as amended simply stated that the power to order a re-election was based on the tribunal.
However, Dr. Alex Iziyon for the 1st respondent argued that the relief sought by the appellant asking for a re-run should not be granted because it was not asked for at the lower court. He added that the appellate court was not a Father Christmas, saying the status must be followed as laid for the granting of such relief.