Wike’s witnesses decline to read documentary evidence
Four witnesses called by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja yesterday refused to read documentary evidence before the tribunal.
Some of the witnesses turned down the request to read the document presented before them by Chief Akinlolu Olujimi (SAN), counsel to the petitioner, Chief Dakuku Peterside, because some of the evidence given before the tribunal were inconsistent with what was contained in the documentary evidence.
While under crossexamination, the witnesses, Charles Green Obubeleye, Rev. Canon Smart Nwankwo, Nupag Nene Igonikon and Peter Michael refused to read the evidence presented before them on the ground that they were not the makers of the document.
Counsel to the governor, Chief Okey Wali (SAN), had earlier objected to the reading of the documentary evidence and the line of questioning by Chief Olujimi.
But the tribunal chairman, Justice Mohammed Ambrosa, overruled the objection, saying that cross-examination should not be confined to only what the witness said.
Igonikon, under crossexamination after being shown exhibit A275/17, said, “I cannot read because it is not my document. All I can say is that the election was peaceful and no issue of ballot box snatching was recorded in my polling unit.”
Michael, who said he voted in Ward 9, Unit 12, said the Card Reader in his polling unit did not work. He added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official did not announce the total number of accredited voters.
Chief Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last governorship election in the state, dragged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before the tribunal to challenge the election of Governor Wike of the PDP, who was declared winner of the election by the electoral body.
Peterside and his party, in the petition, are asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Governor Wike over alleged irregularities.
Hearing of continues today.