As the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal awaits the adoption of final written addresses, Magaji Mato Ibrahim, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), cum lead counsel to the flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the March 18th gubernatorial election, Olorogun Barr. Kenneth Gbagi, is confident his client would come out victorious.
Mr. Ibrahim, who gave this assurance in an interview with newsmen in Asaba, said he has so much confidence, as the Respondents have failed to answer the issues of non-qualification, non-compliance to the Electoral Act 2022, among other allegations of falsification levelled against them.
He said: “the business we had today, at the tribunal was for the 9th and 10th Respondents to enter their defence and they were able to present two witnesses, the governorship and his Deputy testified and they were fully cross examined.
“And after the cross examination, they closed their case. So, the tribunal adjourned the petition for final written addresses on the 12th if August this year.
“Like I have always told you, I have so much confidence in what we have done before now.
“From the cross examinations, the nature of witnesses and documents they have brought, they have not answered our queries.
“Because we have queried them that they have no qualification to contest for this election, we have queried them that there was no credible election and we have queried them that the votes cast, were just vite allocation and not votes as won legitimately.
“None of these have been countered. In fact, some if them did not bring witnesses and that is to their own detriment.
“Some who are supposed to come personally and clear their names failed to come as they sent a proxy to come and testify on their behalf.
“By the law we know, when there is an allegation against you if criminal infraction and you decide on your own not to come to the tribunal to clear your name, you are sending somebody, nobody can clear your name on an issue that you have done under oath.
“Most of the allegations we are having, they are the presentation of falsehood in affidavit, certifications that were falsed and none of them could come to say, no I didn’t do so that we will be able to cross examine the person and fix him to the circumstances that he or she is guilty of what we alleging, they didn’t do any of this. So, I am confident.
“These our prayers, you know we have two prayers. We have the main prayer and we have the alternative relief that we are also asking for. So, I am confident that if worse comes to worse, if the main relief is not granted, the alternative relief will be granted.
“Which is, the election must be cancelled and should be rescheduled for a fresh election by which time we have gotten all the other candidates disqualified and our client (petitioners) will remain the only candidate qualified.And we know the implication of that”.
While advising the teeming supporters of Gbagi and SDP faithful to keep hope alive, he said: “they have done their own by going to the poll, the Petitioners have equally done their own by tabling their complains before the tribunal, the lawyers have done our own by also presenting the case of the petitioners, now, it is left for the court and God.
“So, they should keep faith, knowing fully well that there is nothing that is too big for God to do”, he said.
Gbagi is challenging the qualification of the candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Sheriff Oborevwori, All Progressives Congress (APC), Ovie Augustine Omo-Agege, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru and Labour Party (LP), Ken Pela and seeking the tribunal to disqualify them as they were not eligible to contest the election in the first place.