Drama as petitioner's witness contradicts own statement at Benue Tribunal - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Drama as petitioner's witness contradicts own statement at Benue Tribunal

The hearing in the petition of Miss Aida Ogwuche, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal constituency election, against the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Chief Philip Agbese at the Benue State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal witnessed a mild drama on Tuesday. 

Miss Ogwuche in her petition is challenging the election that produced Chief Agbese "on the grounds of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022." 

When the PDP candidate opened her case, the petitioners' witness who identified himself as Comrade Owen Ekweme contradicted his statement on oath under cross examination. 

In paragraph two of his witness statement before the tribunal, Mr. Ekweme averred that he and other supporters of the PDP candidate in his village at Ogege ward of Ado Local Government Area didn't go out to vote because they were told that Miss Ogwuche "was not the candidate of the PDP in the February 25, 2023 election."

Answering questions under cross examination from counsel to Chief Agbese, Mr. Adetunji Osho, the witness said he got to know of the information after he checked the portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. 

When asked by Mr. Osho to tell the tribunal the name of the INEC portal, the witness was speechless for a while, and finally told the court that now that he had lost his phone, he could not recall the name of the INEC website. 

When asked by counsel to the APC, Mr. Fidelis Mnyim, if he still stood by his witness statement on oath wherein he said he was a supporter of Miss Ogwuche and it was circulated in his village that she was not the candidate of the PDP, and he and other supporters didn't go out to vote, the visibly confused witness answered in the affirmative. His response threw the court into laughter. 

Earlier, the petitioner's first witness, Comrade Adikwu Nicodemus  told the tribunal that he was not stopped from going to the polling unit but he decided not to go to his polling unit because he got to know that Miss Ogwuche was not the PDP candidate. 

After leading the two witnesses, the petitioners' counsel, Mr. Kenneth Ikonne asked the court for two days adjournment and promised to finish his case on the next adjourned date. 

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Amina Aliyu accordingly adjourned the matter to Thursday July 13, 2023 for continuation of hearing.

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