The Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday disqualified a witness brought by Senator Dino Melaye and his political platform, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from testifying before the tribunal in the disputed November 16, 2019 election.
The witness, Mark John, a lawyer, was called to testify before the tribunal by the petitioner but counsel to the respondent (Senator Smart Adeyemi), Dr. Dapo Otitoju, objected to his being allowed to give evidence before the tribunal.
Otituju premised his objection on the ground that the statement of the witness was not pleaded as additional witness in the petition.
Besides, he argued that the witness as a lawyer, failed to attach his seal to the statement.
In addition, Otitoju argued that the witness statement sought to be used was filed and deposed to, on February 26, 2020, 21days after the period allowed by section 285 ( 5) of the Constitution.
He said allowing the statement will extend the days permitted by the constitution to filed the petition. ”Your lordships, based on the above, the disposition can not be used by the petitioner in this Court”.
In his ruling, Justice Isa Sambo agreed with the submission of Senator Adeyemi’s counsel and accorfingly disqualified the witness.
Another wirness, who testified at the tribunal, Tolu Segun, from Okekoko Ward, Kabba/Bunu LGA, said he voted at polling unit 009 after which he visited nine other polling units.
According to him, the results and other information he got from the polling units were given to him by the agents which was later forwarded to the Local Government Chairman of the party.
The case has been further adjourned to April 22, 2020.
Two days ago, when Senator Melaye, the petitioner testified before the tribunal, he said he was everywhere on the election day.
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 Dr. Otitoju, who led the legal team of the respondent in the matter, Senator Smart Adeyemi, if he was aware of the testimonies his agents had given before the tribunal, he said his agents cannot speak for him and he cannot speak for his agent.
Senator Melaye had approached the tribunal alleging irregularities in the election.
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”, he answered.
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.