The Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba on Tuesday dismissed an application for the counting of ballot papers used for the March 18 gubernatorial election which were tendered before it in evidence.

Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), counsel to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, had in an oral application said the ballot papers were already admitted in evidence and marked as exhibits.

He urged the tribunal to grant the application in the interest of justice, adding that it was in the interest of all parties.

Prof. Joe Abugu, counsel to the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had said that the commission stood by the result and figures in the declaration of the second respondent, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, as winner of the election.

He, however, said they would abide by the discretion of the tribunal to decide whether or not to recount.

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Counsel to Governor Oborevwori, Damian Dodo (SAN), had objected to the application, saying that a case for a recount of ballot by the petitioner has not been made out.

Dodo argued that a person who is dissatisfied with the results of the polls must first apply for a recount at the polling unit. He noted that nothing from pages 1 to102 of the petition showed that the petitioner demanded for a recount at any of the 1,333 polling units in question, adding that there was nowhere in the body of the petition where the petitioner sought a relief for recount of ballot papers.

On his part, Ekeme Ohwovoriole (SAN), counsel to the third respondent, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had described the application as unmeritorious and adopted in its entirety the submission of the counsel of the second respondent.

The three-man tribunal panel headed by Justice C. O. Ahuchaogu, in its ruling said such discretion cannot be done in an oral application.

“There is no merit in this oral application for recount and it is hereby dismissed,” Ahuchaogu said.