By Etop Ekanem
THE recent judgment of the Appeal Court, Benin City, dismissing the appeal by Chief Great Ogboru against the ruling of the Asaba rerun governorship election petition tribunal has been described as a miscarriage of justice and a mere academic exercise.
Chief Ogbe Onokpite, who made the remark in Lagos, said if the Appeal Court knew that the tenure would have been spent before the determination of the petition, why then did it constitute the tribunal to hear the petition.
Onokpite said the ruling was a failure of the country’s judicial system, maintaining that it did not in anyway sway the perception and confidence of Deltans in their struggle to wrestle power from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.
He insisted that the judgment was meant to provoke Deltans to taking action that would have been unsavory to the state polity.
He said: “Deltans are fed up with cash-and-carry judgment. What we want in the state is equity and fairness, and it must count in every spheres of life in the state.”
On the call by the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for reconciliation between all aggrieved Deltans, Onokpite said PDP was in dire need of reconciliation, urging the governor to first of all reconcile PDP that was in disarray in the state.
He said there was no basis for reconciliation between the governor and Chief Ogboru when the governor was still holding on to the mandate freely given to Ogboru by Deltans. He said: “You cannot hold to somebody’s mandate and you expect him to reconcile with you. You have to relinquish the mandate to him first before talking about reconciliation.”
Onokpite said the failure of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to tender the electoral materials used in the eight local government areas being contested by the Democratic Peoples Part, DPP, in the ongoing governorship petition tribunal was an attempt to skew justice in favour of PDP.
He warned that any attempt to unduly subvert justice in the April 2011 governorship election petition tribunal would be resisted by Deltans.