TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A serving Assistant Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, ACP Victor Onugbo, yesterday, tendered a document before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, in Port Harcourt, authenticating the electoral victory of Governor Nyesom Wike, during the March 9, 2019, election.
Onugbo, who serves at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Port Harcourt, appeared before the tribunal based on the court subpoena on the State Commissioner of Police.
Responding to questions from counsel to African Action Congress ( AAC), Henry Bello, ACP Onugbo told the tribunal that the document he presented was the incident reports of all that occurred during election. He added that the report was sealed by the Rivers State Police Command.
Onugbo also told the court that the then Commissioner of Police, CP Usman Belel, signed the documents of the result sheets after declaration of the winner of the March 9 election.
Also, responding to questions from counsel for Governor Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), on whether it is a practice in the police that certified copies of the documents are kept in the custody of the command, Onugbo said the documents were certified and kept in the custody of the officer in charge of legal matters at the command.
Onugbo also told the court that he was an observer during the election. He dismissed evidence that police were indicted in the alleged electoral violence in the state.
Meanwhile, AAC has closed cross-examination of its witnesses with appearance of the ACP in court.
The tribunal adjourned till today, (Wednesday), for the Independent National Electoral Commission to present it’s witnesses.
However, speaking with newsmen outside the courtroom, the AAC counsel, Henry Bello, noted that his client has closed its case with the cross-examination of the police officer, who tendered evidence documents before the tribunal.
On his part, Woyike Livingstone, counsel for INEC, said: “Today, the court has heard evidence from the PW23 in the capacity of the Assistant Inspector General of Police who was subpoenaed to come and give evidence in this regard and he has given evidence to the effect that the report which he tendered as an exhibit which was marked as Exhibit X1 were reports authenticating the victory of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike
“He has also given evidence to the effect that the report never in anyway indicted the security agencies or even INEC as an agency.
Also, speaking, Dike Udenna, one of the counsels representing the second respondent, Governor Wike, noted that: “The second petitioner, AAC , a political party, they have closed their case today after calling a total of three witnesses , which has brought the total number of witnesses called by the petitioner to 23. So, it is now for the first respondent (INEC) to open and conduct their own defence.”