There was drama at the Delta State governorship tribunal sitting in Asaba on Friday 18th September, 2015, when against heightened expectations of further legal fireworks, the second respondent, PDP, announced the closure of its defence
without bothering to call any witness.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) and its gubernatorial candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, are challenging Okowa’s victory at the poll at the Delta State governorship election which held on April 11, 2015.
The tribunal had adjourned on Wednesday to allow the PDP commence its defense on Friday by calling its witnesses, having filed over 50 witnesses statements on oath. Okowa, the first respondent, had on Wednesday closed his defense having called only 3 out of over 20 witnesses he had earlier proposed.
At the resumed sitting on Friday, PDP’s counsel Chief T.A Kehinde (SAN), shocked the tribunal when he announced that he would not be calling any witnesses but will be relying on the witnesses already called by the first respondent and his earlier cross examination of the petitioner’s witnesses, and that on this basis he had chosen to close his defense.
Taking aback by this unexpected announcement, the tribunal gave the go ahead for the third respondent, INEC, to commence its defense. INEC counsel, in continuation of the drama, however, declined to commence defense, pleading that the matter be adjourned to next week to allow it prepare and call its witnesses.
The case was then adjourned to Tuesday, 22nd September for commencement of the third respondent’s defense.