Delta Tribunal: INEC closes case without calling witness ….To rely on tribunal declared hostile witness’s evidence

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) today closed its defense in the ongoing Delta state governorship election tribunal sitting in Asaba, saying it will rely on the petitioner’s witness’s which the tribunal had earlier declared as hostile witness.

Mrs Amina Bala Zakari - Acting INEC Chairman 2015
Mrs Amina Bala Zakari – Acting INEC Chairman 2015

The Labour Party (LP) and its gubernatorial candidate Chief Great Ogboru, in the April 11, 2015 governorship election, are challenging the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as the winner of the governorship election.

At the resumed hearing, Counsel to INEC, Mr Oyenchi Ikpeazu (SAN) told the tribunal that the witness they which to call had already been called by the petitioner as (PW2), stressing that they are going to rely on his evidence including all certified true copy (CTC) documents tendered by the witness.

According to Ikpeazu; “Base on the fact that the PW2 tendered some CTC document from INEC office in Delta state, we therefore relying on those documents and hereby rest our case”.

Meanwhile, a mild drama had played out Wednesday, during the hearing as Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), witness Mr. Afarm Uzor, fumbled under cross examination by the petitioner’s counsel.

Counsel to PDP, Mr. Timothy Kehinde (SAN), who was represented by Mr. Ogunwumju Kehinde, had called Mr. Uzor, a PDP Ward agent, for Ward 11, in Oshimili south, LGA, to testify that election where conducted free and fair in his ward as against the petitioners claim.

However, during cross examination by counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Robert Emukpoeruo, Mr Uzor who had earlier told the tribunal that he monitored election in his polling unit and other polling units in Ward 11 could not remember the name of the PDP agents in his unit.

When asked by Mr. Emukpoeruo, if he could read from the total figure from the card reader accreditation document which shows case of over voting in his unit, Mr. Uzor could only read the total vote ascribed to PDP, but said he can’t read the accreditation figure causing uproar in the tribunal.

“Sir, the thing is that I can read, but am not here with my reading glasses, and I don’t know this document, so I can’t read what is in it sir…,” He stated.

Emukpoeruo, averred that from the INEC accreditation record before the tribunal in units, 7, 8, 9, 10,11, 13 and14 in Ward 11, that there a cases of over voting in excess of the accredited voters.

PDP Counsel, Mr. Kehinde, however subtly closed their case without calling additional witness.

The tribunal has adjourned till October 13th 2015, for parties to submit and adopt written addresses.


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