Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:03 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo State, opened testimony on its petition at the State Election Petition Tribunal, on a hilarious note on Monday, when one of the major petition witness, Anthony Lawani, pleaded to speak in pidgin english.
The PDP and its candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in the State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, had commenced calling witnesses in their petition challenging the declaration of Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress, as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Testifying as the second petitioner’s witness, Lawani, who identified himself as an accountant and management consultant, caused a stir when he asked if he could respond in Pidgin English.
“I am sorry my lord. Can I speak broken (Pidgin English)”, he asked, when Counsel to the 2nd respondent, Ken Mozia (SAN), raised concern about his use of the English language.
He however told the tribunal that as an accountant, he has never made a mathematical blunder.
Earlier in his testimony, Mr. Ize-Iyamu renewed his call to the election petitions tribunal to declare him as the rightful winner of the governorship poll.
The PDP candidate and 1st petitioner, while giving evidence during resumption of hearing of his petition, told the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led tribunal that he scored the highest number of votes in the election which was held across 2,629 polling units in the state.
“I want the tribunal to declare me as the winner of the election, having scored the majority votes,” Ize-Iyamu said, just as he adopted his testimony in the case.
He said though he was not sure about the number of polling units for which Obaseki was declared winner, he did not challenge the outcome of the poll based on all the 2,629 polling units.
This is even as he said that most of his deposition at the tribunal were completely based on documents concerning what he saw on the result sheets and voter registers provided by INEC and pursuant to the order of the tribunal.
When cross-examined by Counsel to Obaseki, Ken Mozia, Ize-Iyamu told the tribunal that he was in his unit throughout the election, adding that his claims in his petition could not be described as false, as he could not remember all the polling units in the 18 local government areas of the state.
Also in his testimony for the petitioners, Anthony Lawani, told the tribunal during cross-examination that there was an alleged incident of over-voting in one of the wards in Akoko-Edo local government area.
Lawani, under cross-examination by INEC Counsel, Onyinye Anumonye, said he was a polling agent, and that he was in his unit from the beginning to the end of voting.
Accused of alleged falsehood when he deposited that he monitored the exercise in all the wards in Akoko-Edo by the INEC Counsel, Lawani said that he monitored the election through phone calls.
He claimed that identity card given to him by INEC permitted him to make phone calls, rather than move around for monitoring, adding that he did not state the scores of the remaining political parties that fielded candidates for the election, aside the APC and the PDP.