Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Makurdi on Tuesday rejected an exhibit tendered by Emmanuel Jime and the All Progressives Congress (APC) which was pleaded as a card reader report in the witness statement on oath of Joe Abaagu, PW15.
Jime’s counsel, Adebayo Adelogun, had tendered the document through his witness, but when counsel to Governor Samuel Ortom, Sebastine Hon, took a second look at the document it was discovered that a different title was on the said exhibit.
Hon objected that the witness on page 218, paragraph 643 of his witness statement on oath pleaded a certified true copies of documentary data and authentic biometric of accreditation and card report, and not the document currently before the court.
He submitted that the court should not allow the petitioners to recall the document, but rather reject it as what was before the court was not labeled as a card reader report but accreditation figures for the governorship election in Benue State.
Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Oba Maduabuchi also agreed with the submission of Governor Ortom’s lawyer.
Tribunal Chairman Justice Adebola Olusiyi, in his ruling on the matter, rejected the exhibit and marked it as ‘rejected 1’, saying it was not the same as what was pleaded in witness statement on oath.
Earlier, the Tribunal admitted INEC voters register from 11 local government areas (LGAs) of the state, where Emmanuel Jime, the governorship candidate of the APC, is challenging.
The exhibits P743 to P1128 were admitted as voters registers for Buruku, Gboko, Guma, Gwer East, Gwer West, Konshisha, Kwande, Logo, Vandeikya, Ushongo, Ukum and form EC8A for a polling unit in Okpokwu, tendered by the petitioners after a heated argument from counsels to all parties in the matter.
The Tribunal Chairman thereafter adjourned the matter to Thursday, July 18 for cross examination of PW15.