Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16, 2019 Kogi-West senatorial election, Senator Dino Melaye, on Monday told the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that he was in all the 564 polling units on the election day.
Testifying before the Justice Isa Sambo-led tribunal, Malaye is challenging the out come of the election that was won by Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Meanwhile, some of his agents in the election who were also witnesses at the tribunal had testified before the tribunal saying the election was free, fair and violent-free.
When asked by counsel to Adeyemi, Dr. Oladapo Otitoju, if he was aware of the testimonies his agents had given before the tribunal, Melaye said his agents cannot speak for him just as he cannot also speak for them.
When asked where he got the information about irregulaties in the election he presented to the tribunal, he said: ”I was everywhere on the election day in the 564 units.”
When asked which polling unit he voted and what was the result of the election, he told the tribunal that he could no longer remember adding that he was not aware that result was recorded in his polling unit.
He was later confronted with the form EC8-D1 containing the result of the polling unit and was asked to read it but he claimed he could not see it clearly because his glasses got broken when the tribunal went on a short break.
Also at the tribunal, a witness, Mark Samuel, a lawyer could not give evidence before the tribunal because his statement was not pleaded as additional witness in the petition.
Apart from that, Samuel, a lawyer failed to attach his seal as a lawyer to the statement.
The respondent’s counsel objected to his being allowed to give evidence as a witness in the petition.
After much argument by counsel in the petition, the tribunal adjourned further sitting in the petition to April 21, 2019.
The tribunal is also expected to rule on the objection tomorrow.
At the last adjourned date, a witness, Ibrahim Jimoh, Ijumu Ward Collation agent, said he was not at the venue of the declaration of result after votes were counted.
He said he relied on the report of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, after the election.
But according to electoral laws, party agents must be available when results are counted before its is declared.
Jimoh told the Justice Isa Sambo-led tribunal sitting at the Fderal High Court in Abuja, that that he was not available when reault s were counted but relied on INEC report.
When asked by Dr. Otitoju, if the ballot papers were counted in his presence, he said no, adding that he relied on INEC report and what other agents told him
According to him, election went on peacefully without violence.
When asked how he got to the result he said: ”I was not there. I was not on ground. Yes, It was the second agent that came to tell me the figure”.
Another witness, Ademola Samuel, a farmer, after adopting his statement on oath as evidence before the tribunal also said the election was without violence.
Samuel told the tribunal that he examined the results after the election but when asked to shed more light on his analysis of the examination of the results, he said he acted on what he was told.