Tony John, Port Harcourt
The courtroom of the Rivers State governorship election petition tribunal was yesterday, stunned to silence, as two witnesses presented by the defeated Action Democratic Party (ADP), governorship candidate, Mr. Victor Fingesi, confessed that they were bribed to lie.
The two witnesses fumbled under cross-examination by the counsel for Governor Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who tabled election data before them. An ADP witness, PW 19, said that his real name is Igonikon Gbainyaa. He said that he was not the collation agent for Ahoada West as the name, Stanley Okereke used on the witness statement on oath did not belong to him. He confessed to the tribunal presided over by Justice J. A. Orjiako, that he was procured by the defeated Rivers State ADP governorship candidate to lie on oath.
Another witness for the defeated state ADP governorship candidate, PW 20, identified himself as Wali Madume Okei. He said he had pressure from his conscience to declare the truth despite collecting bribe from the ADP candidate. He told the tribunal that he was not a member of ADP and at no time did he serve the party as its collation agent in Ahoada West. Okei informed the tribunal that he was not the maker of the witness statement on oath as submitted by the ADP governorship candidate.
He said that he was contracted few days to the hearing by some friends to testify in favour of Fingesi, adding that other witnesses earlier called by Fingesi, were also part of the arrangement. The PW 20 noted that he is from Ikwerre and that elections held across the state on March 9, 2019. It would be recalled that the State Governor, Wike, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 886, 264 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Biokpomabo Awara of AAC, who scored 173,859.