Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, may have suffered major setback at ongoing trial at the state governorship election tribunal yesterday, as he again failed to stop the admissibility of the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor’s star witness, from presenting document of expert analysis of the governorship election result for the April 2015 guber poll.
The APC governorship candidate had approached the tribunal challenging the election of Gov. Okowa of the People Democratic Party (PDP), joined in the suit are Ifeanyi Okowa (1st respondent), PDP (2nd respondent) while the 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents are INEC, REC and Returning Officer respectively.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, APC counsel, Chief Thompson Okpoko (SAN) while leading his witness, Mr. Ore Ohimor, informed the tribunal that he will tender expert analysis of unit by unit card readers accreditation report and the unit by unit voter’s result as declared by INEC for the 25 local government areas of the state.
He noted that the content of the document he seeks to tender where derived strictly from already admitted unit by unit card reader’s accreditation report and the unit by unit voter’s result as declared by INEC.
However, objecting to the admissibility of the document, Mr Ken Mozia (SAN), counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, opposed the moved arguing that the documents sought to be tendered was neither front loaded nor was it accompanied by proper certification as is required by law for computer generated document and as such, it failed to meet the requirement of section 84 (sub) 2 of Evidence Act.
Counsel to PDP, Timothy Kehinde (SAN) and INEC counsel, O. Anumonye aligning with Mr Mozia (SAN) averred that the documents sought to be tendered was neither pleaded nor listed in the witness statement on oath; adding that the document wasn’t dated and properly certified.
Relying on point of law Chief Okpoko (SAN) counsel to Emerhor averred that in paragraph 16 of its petition and paragraphs 7 and 8 of the witness’s statement on oath that the comparative analysis of unit by unit card readers accreditation report and the unit by unit voter’s result as declared by INEC the was pleaded.
He added that the witness only relied on his intellectual capacity on the use of computer in preparing the comparative analysis of the results; noting that the computer didn’t generate the analysis of results and as such, computer certification was not applicable.
In its ruling, the tribunal Chairman Justice Nasiru Gunmi, upheld the argument of the petitioner, nothing that, the fact that a computer was used to prepare the comparative analysis have not made the figures or inputs derived to be computer generated. It admitted and named the comparative analysis/summary of results as exhibit ‘P34.’
The tribunal adjourned to Monday 14th September 2015 for the respondents, OKOWA/PDP to present their defence.