The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital has restored the counter affidavit of the flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Olorogun Barr. Kenneth Gbagi, FNIM, OON, in the March 18th 2023 general election.
The tribunal restored the counter affidavit, after listening to the argument of Magaji Mato Ibrahim, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the lead counsel of the SDP gubernatorial candidate to enable the tribunal dispense justice.
Addressing newsmen after the tribunal closed Pre-hearing conference on Monday 19th 2023, Ibrahim said: “The 7th respondent’s counsel thought he could play a smart one by foreclosing us.
“Unfortunately for him and the client he represents, the Tribunal restored our counter affidavit having upheld our argument that for them to substantiate justice, fair hearing becomes key.
Giving details of what happened, he said: “In the court today the pre-trial session was concluded.
“And all pending applications taken except three which the Hon Tribunal deferred to the time of the trial due to delay in service and the need to allow other parties to respond to them”.
He disclosed that full trial would commence on the 7th of July.
“As you can see we vehemently opposed their applications to strike out paragraphs of our petition and replies.
“We are saying that all we have done or pleaded, accords with the Electoral Act and other relevant laws.
“I so much believe that the law is in our favour and all those applications will not see the light of the day.
“Technicality has no place in our present day, it has long been replaced with substantial justice”, he said.