The Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Asaba, Thursday, dismissed the petition of Mr Ken Pela, governorship candidate of Labour Party, for abandoning his petition.
Ruling on the petition, Chairman of the Panel, Justice C.H Ahuchaogu, yesterday, said the petition was incompetent and a flagrant violation of paragraph 18 subsection 1 of the 4th Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
Mr Ken Pela, in petition EPT/DL/GOV/01/23, is challenging the outcome of the March 18, 2023 Governorship election in the state and seeking leave of the tribunal to upturn the declaration of Sheriff Oborevwori as Delta Governor.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was joined in the petition as 1st respondent while Gov Sheriff Oborevwori and his Deputy, Monday Onyeme are 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively with PDP as 4th respondent.
Lead Counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Damian Dodo (SAN) had argued in an earlier application that Labour Party’s petition had been abandoned.
He argued that the petitioner failed to avail itself of the seven day window to apply for pre hearing notice.
According to Dodo, the petitioner also failed to apply for another pre hearing notice effectively rendering his petition abandoned.
Dodo said the petitioner applied for pre hearing notice on 19 May before the close of pleadings and as such the petition was premature and incompetent.
Justice C.H Ahuchaogu ruled that “the petition is incompetent and was issued in flagrant violation of paragraph 18 subsection 1 of the 4th Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022.
“We resolve this application in favour of the 2nd and 3rd applicants.There is merit in the application seeking to dismiss this petition and accordingly petition EPT/DL/GOV/01/2023 is hereby dismissed,” Ahuchaogu stated.