Thursday, February 2, 2017 1:48 am
Legal fireworks continued at the Edo State governorship election petition tribunal on Wednesday, with witnesses testifying for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, giving contradicting testimonies.
One of the principal witnesses to the petitioners, Bright Osaro Osarumwen, was discovered to have registered twice with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Daudu, while testifying under cross-examination by INEC Counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, had requested to correct what he termed a typographical error in the statement he earlier made on oath by changing the total number of votes cast from 650 to 652.
The witness who claimed he was the PDP agent in Unit 4, Ward 9, in Akoko-Edo local government area, insisted that the total number of votes cast during the election was 652 and not 650 as stated.
Consequently, Counsel to the petitioners, Roland Otaru, applied that his witness want to correct an error in paragraph four of his statement, saying that the application was harmless and amorphous and that the witness was yet to adopt the statement.
Adegboyega however kicked against the application, and pointed out that justice was not a one way traffic, even as described the amendment sought as fraudulent and an attempt to amend the main petition.
Counsel to Obaseki, Adetunji Oyeyipo, in his submission, told the tribunal that the time for Pastor Ize-Iyamu to amend the petition has been closed and that it would make evidence to be at variance with pleadings.
Ruling on the application, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, held that the amendment could not be made by mere application.
During further cross examination, Daudu contradicted himself when he said that nobody was killed or injured during the conduct of the election but that the election was not peaceful.
He told the tribunal that the number of accredited voters were less than the number of votes cast.
Meanwhile, principal witness No. 29 to the petitioners, Bright Osaro Osarumwen, who claimed to be a man of God, was discovered to have engaged in multiple registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The two registrations were uncovered as the voters’ register was examined at the tribunal.
Osarumwen who came from Aduwawa quarters, Ikpoba-Okha local government area, who also claimed to be a businessman, initially admitted to reading his witness statement before filing same and denied ever registering twice as a voter.
He was however found to have registered as a public servant on one occasion, and as a businessman in another occasion during cross-examination by counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“I did not register at all and I did not vote,” he stressed when he realised that the discrepancies in his testimony were about to be exposed.
But when confronted with a copy of the voters’ register to identify if both photographs attributed to what should have been two different voters were carrying his image, he owned up saying, “Yes, I did,” only to deny again in another breath, saying, “No, it was a typographical error.”
Osarumwena who was also later unveiled as a registered nurse, when pressed further, refute his earlier grievances at the Edo election saying, “I agree accreditation and voting went smoothly. I am a Registered Nurse (RN).”