· Obiano’s Ward Results still missing
By Ada Bosa
Exactly one week after the Gubernatorial Elections Petitions Tribunal commenced admission of certified documents as exhibits from Senator Chris Ngige and All Progressive Congress (APC) in the second of four petitions before it, the tribunal today concluded the exercise with over 10,000 exhibits admitted so far.
A total of 5,984 election related documents were admitted today and marked as evidence bringing the total so far to 10,234 so far admitted from the petitioners with more expected.
PDP legal team represented today by Clement Ezira Esq. prayed the Tribunal to adopt and rely on the exhibits tendered by Senator Ngige and APC. The Tribunal granted the prayers in absence of any objection.
Documentary exhibits admitted today include voter registers and polling booth results for the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Anambra State outstanding as at yesterday. They are Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Orumba North, Orumba South and Oyi LGAs.
Other documents include The summary of polllling booth results at Ward level ( Forms EC8B) cutting across all 326 wards in the state except, Ward 10, Ogbaru; Summary of Local government Results at state level (Form EC8D); Form for declaration of results (Form EC8E) and 355 forms for Oath of Neutrality by INEC staff handling the lections.
All summary of ward results at Local Government level (Forms EC8E) was initially not available as at the time other certified documents were supplied by INEC in the exhibits, but was later supplied.
However, Polling Booth Results for the entire Otuocha Ward I, Anambra East LGA of the state is still missing from the pack as petitioners say it was not supplied by INEC. Chief Willie Obinao, APGA candidate who was declared winner of the elections by the electoral umpire hails from this ward.
Rotimi Akeredolu, Lead Counsel for Ngige and APC also tendered for the admission of the Tribunal, a 356-page document enlisting all INEC adhoc staff that worked in the 16th, 17th and 30th November 2013 disputed Gubernatorial elections.
Also tendered were, 813 ‘Form s EC 40A’ described as Ballot Paper Verification Statement, 116 certified copies of ‘Forms EC 40 B’, described as Statement of Invalid Ballot Papers; as well as 152 certified of ‘Forms EC 40 C’, described as statement of unused ballot papers. All EC40A, EC40B and EC40C documens, according to Akeredolu cut across the 21 LGAs.
The Tribunal also admitted in evidence, 443 exhibits made up of Forms ‘EC25 A’ described Receipt of Electoral materials and 26 copies of Forms EC25 B described as the ‘Receipt for Electoral Materials by presiding officers in the 21 LGAs’
Eight certified copies of newspaper reports on the election became a bone of contention between the lawyers on the respective sides of the consolidated matter before Chairman of the Tribunal Hon Justice Ishaq Bello ruled in favour of admission.
At issue in an objection first raised by Ken Mozie Esq, Holding Obiano’s Counsel and supported by Osita Nnadi, SAN for APGA was that agreements between the counsels covered only documents obtained from INEC without objection.
In his response however, Akeredolu relied on the report of the pre-trial session handed down by the Tribunal which stated according to him that ‘All certified documents shall be tendered from the Bar, while all other documents shall go through the normal process of tendering’
Bellow ruled that the ‘the certified documents ,as used in the agreement reached in the Bar and the report of the Tribunal was generic in application and therefore the documents should be admitted without prejudice to any objections that may be raised by parties on it in future’
Hence the Newspaper reports were admitted and marked as Exhibits ‘P.349A-H.’
Hearing has been adjourned till Tuesday 25th March 2014 being the 100th ay in the 180-day lifespan of the Ngige-APC Petition and the 99th Day of PDP and Comrade Tony Nwoye’s petitions.
Meanwhile the Tribunal has fixed the case of Dr Chike Obidigbo and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) versus Obiano, INEC & others for hearing on Friday 21st March 2014.