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AHIWE VS OTTI: Disagreement In Court As PDP Star Witness Seeks Amendment Of Document


AHIWE VS OTTI: Disagreement In Court As PDP Star Witness Seeks Amendment Of Document


There was disagreement in court on Thursday at the resumed hearing into the matter between Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic party, PDP and Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party over PDP’s witness’s request to make some amendments to his written deposition.


The star witness of the PDP, Barrister Charles Eseonu who acted as the Abia state collation agent of the party in the 2023 Governorship election pleaded with the tribunal to ;

– change his profession to a legal practitioner instead of ‘a public officer’ written in his witness deposition on the grounds that it was a typographical error as he had in December 2022, tendered his resignation letter to the former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, having served as a Commissioner.


“I resigned because I wanted to contest for an election” he explained further.


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– expunge House of Representatives election written in his deposition and substitute it with Governorship election and;

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– substitute 1st petitioner with 2nd respondent in his deposition.

These requests didn’t augur well with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents who objected to it, insisting that it was not a case of typographical error as claimed by the witness.


“I object to this purported correction; there is no typographical error there. This is tantamount to re-writing of his deposition” INEC’s counsel, J.T.U. Nnodum posited.


“We object vehemently to this material amendment to the witnesses’ deposition especially from a very senior lawyer” E.C. Etiaba, counsel to the 3rd respondent said while aligning himself with INEC’s counsel.


The tribunal however obliged the witness’s request and effected the corrections.


Eseonu in his oral deposition accused INEC of doctoring election results from Obingwa Local Government Area adding that the 27, 664 given by INEC as total number of accredited voters in Obingwa LGA is false.

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When asked if he has any complaint on the election process in Obingwa, Eseonu said he had no complaint with the conduct of the election until INEC moved collation of results to Abuja .


When asked if he has expertise in electoral documents analysis, forensics and statistics, the witness replied in the negative. Asked if his party, PDP engaged any of the above mentioned experts, he said no.

On if he has seen any formal report made on the 2023 Governorship election by the said experts engaged by his party, he said no but he has had interactions with them.


The witness also claimed that Dr Alex Otti left APC for Labour Party without formally resigning.


“Alex Otti did not resign from APC before he moved to Labour Party. He abandoned APC without resigning properly before he purportedly defected to Labour Party” he said during his cross examination.


Asked how he got to know that Otti did not resign from APC, he said it was public knowledge.

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To counter Eseonu’s claim that the result he tendered before the tribunal as exhibit is the authentic Obingwa LGA result, counsel to Otti, Mr Owonikoko tendered a Certified True Copy of form EC8C obtained from and endorsed by INEC.


Although PDP’s counsel, Nwokeukwu objected to the admissibility of the document, the tribunal however, admitted the document as an exhibit.


Earlier before the presentation of the star witness, the PDP tendered voters registers from wards in Umuahia North LGA, Umunneochi, Arochukwu, Osisioma Ngwa, Ikwuano, Obingwa , Bende, Ukwa east, Isuikwuato, Aba South, Aba North, and Umuahia south.


They also tendered supplementary voters registers from Isuikwuato, Umuahia south, Bende, Obingwa, Aba South, Aba North, Ikwuano, Ohafia and Umuahia North.


The documents were all marked by the tribunal and admitted as exhibits.


The tribunal adjourned till Friday for continuation of hearing.

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