Wike’s wit­nesses de­cline to read doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye

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.



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