BY Barry Agbanigbi, Asaba
Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asabayesterday granted the exparte motion of the petitioners seeking asubstituted service of the originating processes and all otherrelevant issues on the respondents to the petition.

Three petitions are before the three-man Tribunal headed by JusticeNasiruGunmi, challenging the declaration of Dr. IfeanyiOkowa of thePeoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 11, governorshipelection by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The petitions were filed by Chief Great Ogboru of Labour Party,OlorogunO’tegaEmerhor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr.Paul Isamade of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

In the application filed by Ogboru and the Labour Party on May 5,2015, the Tribunal ordered the originating processes be served on therespondents by either maintaining status-quo serving the processes onthe state secretary of the PDP or any principal officer of the partyor by pasting same at the state secretariat of the PDP on MarianBabagida Way, Asaba.

In the case of Emerhor and APC, the Tribunal granted the prayers ofthe applicants, directing that the processes said be served by pastingsame at the last known addresses of the respondents which are locatedat Owa-Oyibu in Ika North-East council area and No. 1, Core Area,Anwai Road, Asaba.

Also granted was the application by Isamade and the ACPN in which theTribunal ordered that the processes be pasted at conspicuous places atthe secretariat of the first respondent (INEC), residence of thesecond respondent (Okowa) and state secretariat of the thirdrespondent (PDP).

Earlier in their respective presentations, counsel to Ogboru, EdiriDiejomaoh; counsel to Emerhor, Joseph Omonoseh; and counsel Isamade,KehindeEdun had told the Tribunal that the respondents were evadingservice, hence the application.

Meanwhile, at the Tribunal’s inaugural sitting, chairman of theTribunal, Justice Gunmi urged all stakeholders to give the teammaximum support for the Tribunal to succeed in its role of ensuringthat justice is done to the petitions.

While specifically enjoining counsel to the litigants to avoidunnecessary applications for adjournment, he also urged politiciansand their supporters to maintain utmost decorum during and after each
Tribunal sitting.

Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Delta State, CharlesAjuyah (SAN) implored the Tribunal to dispassionately look into thepetitions with the objective of ensuring that justice is done.