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Jubilation as Deltans celebrate Okowa’s Appeal Court victory ~ Truth Reporters

Deltans have described the victory of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Friday as true reflection of the electorate’s mandate to him through the ballots.

They said that the verdict had vindicated the confidence which people of the state expressed in the governor through their votes.

In a unanimous decision, five justices of the court affirmed the decision of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which upheld Okowa’s victory over All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Chief Grfeat Ogboru, in the March 9, 2019 election.

Okowa was the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ogboru had approached the appellate court in a bid to upturn the September judgment of the tribunal, which dismissed his petition seeking the cancellation of the election in which Okowa was declared winner, holding that the petition lacked merit.

But, the court ruled in favour of the respondents, Okowa and PDP on grounds that the appellant was unable to prove his case.

The court dismissed the entire appeal for lacking in merit and affirmed the decisions of the tribunal.

At a thanksgiving service at the Government House Chapel, Asaba, which held as soon as news of the judgment filtered into the state capital, the Chaplain, Pastor Mathew Ezedom, in a sermon said, "Delta is known for thanksgiving and with praise and thanksgiving, He will continue to give us victory as a people.

"Today, God has given us another victory at the Court of Appeal and we will continue to praise His name; God will always give us reasons to thank Him.

"God has started a good work in Delta and no devil can truncate it; as we thank God today, there will be more thanksgiving."

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie, said ``the victory has fully put to rest whether Deltans wanted Okowa and his deputy back for a second term or not.

According to him, we want the opposition to join us in building Delta State and we thank Deltans for the confidence reposed in our governor and his deputy."

Former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Benjamin Elue, in his reactions, described Ogboru as a serial loser, saying "we all know that Ogboru is a serial loser of elections and court cases; we know that he will go to the Supreme Court where he will lose again.

"I congratulate our governor, Sen. Okowa and all Deltans as I urge all of us to be committed to the delivery of the prosperity agenda of of the governor." 

For Chief Godwill Obielum, a PDP chieftain, "this is an affirmation of what Deltans came out to voluntarily do through the ballot box.

"The Court of Appeal has proven that the Judiciary is a beacon of hope for our democracy and I congratulate our governor and all us who voted for him.

``There should be no division and collectively, we should work with the governor to build a state that we all shall be proud of."

The Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, a former running mate to Ogboru in previous races, said that the court verdict was wonderful.

He, however, stated that ``we know the final defeat will come, because they will go to the Supreme Court; the evils will not triumph over good, because the good is of God and we congratulate our governor and all Deltans and congratulations to democracy."’’

On his part, Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwado, said the appellate court validated the governor's victory at the polls, adding, however, that it was not that any one was in doubt about the victory.

``We trust God that this is the end of this case, because it has no merit and we will advice the co-contestant in the election to let go at this time," he added.

Former Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Mr Basil Ganagana, said that it was a well deserved victory, adding  that

``in the first place, we never expected that we will go to court.

``A situation where you won in only two local government areas, he was not expected to go to court.

"It is high time Chief Ogboru joined hands with the governor to take the state higher in terms of development; we thank God for this victory becausepower belongs to Hi."

Executive Assistant to the Governor on Youths Development, Mr Nnamdi Ezechi, said, "Gov. Okowa’s victory is divine and no one can dethrone him; the opposition should join him to take the state to enviable heights.

``We need unity as a people and distractions should not come from any area bearing in mind that our governor is doing very well without discrimination."

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