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Published On: Sat, Sep 12th, 2015

Drama in Delta Tribunal as Ogboru Disagrees with Own Counsel

Ogboru

Ogboru


LAGOS SEPTEMBER 12TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A mild drama played out on Thursday at the resumed hearing of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, when one of the petitioner’s witness subtly disagreed with his own counsel on a legal point being conversed by the lawyer.
The Labour Party (LP) and its gubernatorial candidates in the just concluded governorship election, Chief Great Ogboru is challenging the election victory of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa at the polls.
The three- man- panel of tribunal, chaired by Justice Nasiru Gunmi hearing the petitions commenced the days proceeding with the invitation of the petitioners thirteenth prosecution witness (PW13) , one Mr. Turna Uchuko Ogboru.
Soon after the petitioners counsel, Mr. Dele Adesino (SAN) concluded with the preliminary examination of the witness and the subsequent adoption of the witness written statement deposition of oath, he (Adesino) moved to tender bundle of documents contained in about three Ghana must go sacks.
Counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Ken Mozia , objected to Adesino’s move, arguing that the document sought to be tendered by the petition was not listed in the petition, neither was it frontloaded.
Adesino who stood his grounds that the document which he sought to tendered contained voters registered saying that it was listed in the petition as material that they will rely on to argue their cases.
PDP and INEC counsels, Mr. John Okoriko who stood in for Mr. Timothy Kehinde(SAN) and Mr. Anumoye , who represented Dr. Dodo(SAN) respectively randomly opposed Adesinos move to tender the documents.
The legal fireworks the ensured between the counsels prompted the presiding judge, Justice Gunmi to adjourn briefly to enable him give a ruling on the matter.
While Justice Gunmi who resumed sitting after about thirty minutes of adjournment, was trying to inform the tribunal that, the panel would have to further take another adjournment till next week following the falling health condition of one of the tribunal members, when Dr. Alex Zyion (SAN) and his INEC counterpart breezed into the tribunal room and altered the course of the tribunal proceedings.
Izyion and Dodo who upon entering into the tribunal, immediately assumed their positions as lead counsels, informing the tribunal and the petitioners counsel on the need to withdraw the application challenging their motion to tender electoral documents.
Izyion told the court that he was prepared to allow the documents to go in and that if there was any need to think otherwise, that it could be challenged in their written addresses to the tribunal.
The petitioners counsel Adesino initially aligned with the position of the respondent to withdraw the application, but suddenly, made a u-turn and asked the court to give a ruling on the matter as both parties have extensively engaged themselves in legal argument on the issue.
Sensing the danger of Adesino’s submission , the witness, Turna Ogboru, who is also the younger brother of one of the petitioners, Chief Great Ogbou, became restless as he pierced up and dawn, he shuffled, trembling in the witness box .He tried to communicate to his counsel (Adesino) through gesturing , to no avail, as Adesino was busy advancing arguments on both sides as to why the tribunal should give a ruling.
The audience in the tribunal that noticed Ogboru,’s predicament busted into a subdued laughter, as he could no longer hold on to himself to Adesino’s apparent lack of understanding, and the importance of allowing the respondent have their way. He suddenly stood up from the witness box and deliberately throw dawn the bunch of document on the ground to attract attention.
This action apparently attracted Adesino’s attention, and Ogboru gestured him vehemently, but still Adesino had to consult with some counsels in the petitioner’s team before acceding to Ogboru’s request.
He then told the, tribunal chairman, “We have no objection to the application of the respondents to withdraw the application challenging the admissibility of the documents in view of the revialing circumstances to ensure speedy trail.”
Justice Gunmi there after adjourned further hearing of the matter to Saturday 12 of September and Monday of 14 September 2015 for the continuation of trail.

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