Friday, August 21, 2015 1:08 pm
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Akwa Ibom, sitting in Abuja, has admitted as exhibits electoral materials used for the April 11 governorship election in Akwa Ibom.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sadiq Umar, held that it was natural and in the interest of justice to allow the materials to be tendered and admitted.
Chief Umana Okon Umana, the defeated APC governorship candidate, had dragged Gov. Emmanuel Udoh of PDP to the tribunal, seeking nullification of his election.
Udoh had in his motion, opposed the tendering of the documents as exhibits.
The exhibits comprise: ballot papers, result sheets and the voters’ registers used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the April 11 governorship election.
Umar in his ruling, dismissed the objection raised against the admission of the documents by the defendants, adding that the documents were pleaded.
The tribunal chairman said that by calling more witnesses, mainly forensic experts who analyzed election materials, the petitioner had not amended his petition.
Umar said that the petitioner did also not introduce anything new, having indicated to do so in the petition.
He agreed with counsel to the petitioner, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, that tendering and admitting the election materials as exhibits,were crucial to the petitioner in other to maintain and sustain the petition.
Umar said that having granted an order to inspect, scan and photocopy the materials, it was natural for the documents to be admitted in line with the spirit of the order of the tribunal.
At the resumed hearing, the petitioner was led in evidence by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN.
The case was continues today for further hearing.