Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom suffered a setback yesterday at Governorship Election Petition Tribunal seating in Makurdi, the state capital as he failed to stop the documents that would question his eligibility to contest the last governorship election under the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC.
The contentious documents include; report of the monitoring team of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP primaries and report of monitoring team of APC gubernatorial primary in Benue state as presented by INEC witness subpoenaed by the petitioner.
Counsel to the first respondent, Mr Adeniyi Akintola, SAN who in his argument objected to the two documents said that the documents should not be admissible because they were not relevant and not pleaded in the petition and as such defective and should be rejected by the tribunal.
Akintola who cited various legal authorities to support his argument while objecting to the acceptability of the documents, saying the documents were not relevant, non pleaded and non feasible to the law, saying, “it is defective in all parts and at variance to what was pleaded” and challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal to examine pre-election matters.
Also arguing, counsel to second respondent, Mr Sebastine Hon, SAN who aligned with his colleague argued that the two documents were not admissible in law citing several legal authourities to support his argument and said that documents sought to be tendered were not the same with what was pleaded, adding that without proper pleading, documents submitted by witness does not make it admissible and urged the tribunal to reject the document.
However, counsel to the petitioner, Mrs Joy Adeniyi, SAN claimed that relevance was major determinants of the documents sought and cited various authourities to support that the documents should be admitted by the tribunal and urged the tribunal not to allow technicalities as raised by counsels to destroy the system of justice.
Justice Catherine Ogunsanya, while ruling maintained that the two documents provided by INEC witness who was subpoenaed by the petitioners’ counsel were relevant to the case.
She explained that the argument of the first and second respondents urging the tribunal not to admit the documents as evidence was not proper, noting that the panel was mindful of its earlier ruling and as such admitted the documents.

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