By Emma Amaize & Austin Ogwuda
ASABA-THE Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Delta State, yesterday, gave the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Delta State and Commissioner of Police in the state, seven days, to produce and ensure that ballot papers and other electoral materials used for the conduct of the April 26, governorship election were made available to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Chief Great Ogboru and their respective political parties for examination and inspection.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Progressive Party, PPP, Prince Obaro Unuafe has prayed the tribunal to order that forensic and biometric analysis to be conducted on the result forms, which were declared by INEC .
Unuafe, through his counsel, Mr. Henry Tietie also urged the tribunal “to direct INEC to conduct fresh governorship election in Delta State of Nigeria,” alleging that “the election is invalid for reasons of corrupt practices.”
Governor Uduaghan and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are seeking the court’s directive on INEC to inspect and examine the stated materials for the purpose of defending the petition against them by Chief Ogboru and Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, and also have a cross petition.
The tribunal was specific in its order that INEC and Police should ensure compliance following the discovery that the order it granted on May 13, to Chief Ogboru and DPP to examine and inspect the ballot papers and other materials were not complied with, 10 days after it was made.
Tribunal Chairman Justice Ayo said the tribunal found the reasons given by INEC counsel, Olufemi Adeyemi for non-compliance with the earlier order as strange and unacceptable, but for the avoidance of doubt, since Uduaghan and PDP had come with a similar prayer, the applicants and respondents should be allowed to do a joint examination and inspection of the materials.