rivers GoverNorshiP
Election Petition Tribunal sitting
in Abuja, on Friday, dismissed an
application by the All Progressives
Congress, APC, to scan and crop
all the materials used for 2015
governorship election in the State.
The APC and its candidate in the
April 11 governorship election,
Dakuku Peterside, are seeking
the nullification of the election of
Governor Nyesom Wike.
APC and Mr. Peterside allege
that the election was characterised
by irregularities and fraudulent
practices.
They sought to inspect all the
materials used for the election to
prove allegations of falsification
and allotment of votes for Mr.
Wike.
The Chairman of the tribunal,
Justice Mu’azu Pindiga, had on
June 11 granted APC the leave to
inspect the materials used in the
election.
But the APC had also applied
for cropping and scanning of
election materials before the
Court of Appeal which will be
sitting on Monday, Aug. 31.
According to Mr. Pindiga, the
fresh application by the APC is an
abuse of the court process after it
had ruled on a similar application
on June11.
The APC had alleged that INEC,
the 1st respondent, had denied it
access to carry out the order of
June 11.
The party explained that this
necessitated a fresh application
for scanning and cropping by
forensic experts.
Mr. Pindiga said the tribunal,
having gone through the
submissions of the parties in
the matter, holds that the fresh
application by the APC had been
overtaken by event.
“Although Section 36 of the
1999 Constitution provides for
fair hearing of individual right,
the motion for cropping, scanning
of materials through forensic
expert is hereby discountenanced
and dismissed’’, Pindiga said.
The chairman held that the
earlier ruling on inspection of
election material still subsists.
Meanwhile, counsel to the
APC, Akinlolu Olujimi, a Senior
Advocate of Nigeria, said his
client had over 1,000 witnesses.
Mr. Olujimi said his client
would work to streamline the
witnesses to 200 and suggested 35
minutes for examination for every
of the star witnesses.
He suggested five minutes to
examine other witnesses and five
minutes for re-examination.
Mr. Olujimi also suggested
that the Independent National
Electoral Commission, Mr. Wike
and the Peoples Democratic Party
nominate two persons and two
from the petitioners for marking
of the exhibits as the hearing
continues.
Also, counsel to INEC, Obinna
Oya, told the tribunal that
they were willing to call 1373
witnesses to prove their case and
that its client would streamline
the witnesses to 400.
Mr. Oya proposed one hour
for star witnesses, 30 minutes for
other witnesses and 5 minutes for
re-examination.
The Counsel to Mr. Wike,
Oke Wali, said his client had
777 witnesses and proposed 30
minutes for each witness and
one hour to cross-examine star
witness.
Mr. Wali also asked for 10 days
to call witnesses.
The PDP counsel, Chris Uche, a
Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said
his client had over 700 witnesses
but intends to call only 200.
Mr. Uche proposed one hour
for star witnesses, 35 minutes for
cross-examination, five minutes
for re-examination and five
minutes for other witnesses.
The tribunal adjourned sitting to
September 3 for commencement
of hearin


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