OTTI VS AHIWE/PDP (UPDATE): APC Agent Tenders Evidence In Court Against Otti/LP
OTTI VS AHIWE/PDP: APC Agent Tenders Evidence In Court Against Otti/LP
The People’s Democratic party (PDP) at the resumed pre-hearing on Tuesday, August 1st into their suit challenging the declaration of Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party as the winner of the March 18, 2023 Governorship election, presented a subpoenaed witness who worked as a collation agent of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Aba South before the election petition tribunal.
Although the subpoena issued by the tribunal requested the prosecuting witness (PW4), Mr Chigozie Nwammuo to provide duplicate originals of forms EC8 A,B,C,D and E series, he tendered only form EC8C (collation of LG results sheet).
While being cross examined by the counsel representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), JTU Nnodum, the PW4 explained that aside the form EC8C, he does not have the other forms as requested by the tribunal adding that the form EC8C is the only form from the unit he worked in as an agent.
“I was asked to bring any of the forms” he added.
The witness affirmed that election was conducted smoothly at his polling unit, however when asked to identify the date on the form EC8C he tendered as evidence, he stated that the date was not clear on the form, however, “I am not the maker of the form; I only signed as an agent” he added.
The prosecuting witness five, Mr Nnamdi Daniel James Nwankpa, a member of the PDP who worked as a ward collation agent during the last election, told the tribunal that although the voting process was carried out smoothly at his polling unit, “there was no collation of result as INEC staff were absent at the ward collation centre, National High school Aba.
Similarly, the PW6, Mr Ozuruigbo Innocent Nwaneziukwu (ward 4 collation agent) said no collation of result was done and INEC staff were absent at the collation centre, Ndoki road primary school.
For the PW7, Mr Agwu Iroh Innocent (ward collation agent), the election conducted was not free and fair. He claimed that his ward result seen at the collation centre was not representing the actual result announced after voting.
On his own part, the PW 8, Mr Emeh Christopher Onyinyechi told the tribunal that there was no result from his ward as INEC officials failed to show up at the ward collation centre.
He also stated that he was forced outside when the results were being announced at the Aba South LGA collation centre.
The last witness for the day, PW9, Mr Emmanuel Agwu Ukpo (Ohafia LGA collation agent) told the tribunal that there was over voting in all the 21 polling units. In a twist, the witness disagreed with INEC’S counsel that over voting occurs when the number of valid votes cast, exceeds the total number of accredited voters.
The counsel referred the witness to paragraph 14 of his witness report where he stated that in a particular polling unit, the total number of accredited voters was 53 and total number of valid votes 53.
The witness argued that it was an error, he however agreed later, that “by the numbers, none is higher”.
“My lord it is the same thing in the remaining 20 polling units ”
INEC’s counsel stated while maintaining that there was no incidence of over voting as claimed by the witness.
The chairman of the Governorship election petition tribunal, Justice H.T.D. Gwadah after admitting the witnesses and evidences, adjourned till 4th and 5th August, 2023 for continuation of hearing with the consent of the petitioners and defendants.