Edo Governorship Petition Tribunal Update: Subpoenaed Ballot Papers Lands Tribunal
The subpoenaed ballot papers from INEC arrived the tribunal exactly 5:15pm as requested by the erudite led counsel to PDP Yesuf Alli (SAN), as he referred the judge to paragraph 753, page 217 in the petition, we pleaded that your lordship sanction the provision of used ballot papers , which you earlier obliged.
The counsel to the 3rd respondent objected that they were never served the subpoena documents or never privy to such move, responding Yesuf Alli (SAN) said INEC was duly served on the 6th day of February 2017 and requested they provide the subpoena documents.
While also responding, counsel to the APC, Ken Mozia (SAN) told the court that he welcomes the recounting exercise.
Furthermore, Counsel to PDP told the court that the court signed the subpoenaed document by the tribunal compelling INEC to provide ballot papers.
After a while, the witness representing INEC, an administrative officer, Mr Ahmed Sama brought the ballot papers and subpoena documents to the court.
Yesuf Alli (SAN) showed the said documents to Mr. Ahmed for clarification which he identified and also added that he was mandated by his boss from INEC to bring the ballot papers to court. While trying to waste time, Ken Mozia (SAN) demanded for the subpoenaed document, this got Yesuf Alli (SAN) infuriated as he reminded him about his earlier comments.
Thereafter, the registrar passed the document to the counsels to INEC, APC and Obaseki to verify which they both affirmed to be the true certified subpoena document.
At this point, looking at the faces of my friends from the other side, it clearly explained how perplexed and confused they were, I pretty much understood the precarious and devastating traumatic experience they are going through right now, reading through this piece. Take heart!
The indefatigable Judge admitted the INEC ballot papers as exhibit. The ballot papers admitted are as follows- 4 Bags of used ballot papers from Akoko-Edo ,8 Bags from Egor ,5 Bags from Etsako West, 3 Bags from Etsako East LGA’s respectively.
This was the plead of Yesuf Alli (SAN) to the judge “I apply to your lordship that the ballot papers from these LGA be recounted, in order to ally the fears of all parties about the ballot papers. In addition, that representatives should come from interested counsels, 2 officials of INEC and secretary to the tribunal to as a matter of urgency immediately commence the recounting of ballot papers and that after the counting a comprehensive schedule should be made to show the results of all parties to be brought to your lordship and the entire world to see” he opined.
The counsel to INEC raising his objection cited paragraph 47(1) of the electoral act and also 218-219 of the evidence act to dismiss the recounting, which failed to fly.
Conclusively, Yesuf Alli (SAN) requested that the lordship buffed up security in and around the tribunal premises, in order to secure the ballot papers which are now very sensitive materials.
The judge adjourned sitting till tomorrow, Wednesday 8th February 2017.