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Labour Party appeals tribunal judgment upholding Delta Gov’s election

The Delta State Chapter of the Labour Party (LP) and its governorship candidate in the March 18 election, Kennedy Kawahariebie Pela, has filed 12 grounds of appeal challenging the judgement of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal upholding the victory of Governor Sheriff Oborevweri.

In the notice of appeal, Pela and LP are seeking an order by the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the tribunal which earlier struck out their petition.

It reads, “Take notice that the appellants being dissatisfied with the judgement of the Election Petition Tribunal, holden at Asaba, Delta State in petition No. EPT/DL/GOV/01/2023 between Pela Kawahariebie and another versus Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and 6 others, dated 29th September 2023, headed by Hon. Justice Chibuzo H. Ahuchaogu, hereby appeal to the court of appeal upon the grounds set out in paragraph 3 and will at the hearing seek the reliefs set out in paragraph 4 herein.”

In the 12 grounds of appeal, Pela and LP stated that the tribunal judges erred in law when it struck out the names of the three of the respondents joined in the appellants’ petition without inviting parties to address her on the point.

Parts of the grounds of appeal reads, “The tribunal erred in law and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice when at page 10 of the judgment the summary of facts in the petition was only based on the facts elicited during cross examination of the petitioners petition without recourse to their written statement on oath.

“The tribunal erred in law when at page two of the judgment stated ‘this petition is a fallout of the governorship election held on the 18th and 19th of March 2023’.

“The trial tribunal misdirected itself and thereby occasioned miscarriage of justice when at paragraph 10 to 19 of the judgement summarized the entire   facts of the petition based on just the cross examination of the respondents and refused to countenance the evidence in Chief of the petitioners.

“The tribunal erred in law when it held at pages 34 and 35 of her judgment that  no constitutional provision or electoral Act was cited.

“The Tribunal erred in law and reached a wrong decision when it found as a fact struck out paragraphs of the petition.

“The honorable tribunal failed to consider that the appellant listed the particular polling units and local government areas complained about in the petition and tendered pleading documents such as the forensic report and incorporated same as documents to be relied on at the trial. It also misconstrued the provision in paragraph 4(4) of the first schedule to the Electoral Act, 2022 when it struck out the petition.

“The Tribunal erred in law when it overlooked its own finding that exhibit IR29, being the letter of resignation by the 3rd Respondent did not satisfy admissibility check and the consequential rejection of same, yet failed to countenance the contention of the appellants that the 3rd  respondent did not resign 30 days before the Election thereby occasioning a miscarriage of Justice. “

They further argued that the tribunal ignored the ample documentary evidence tendered by the petitioners, thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice.

They however, ask the appellate court to allow the appeal and set aside the decision of the tribunal dated September 29, 2023

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