LP v APC: Strange, petitioner's account favours winner of Benue NASS election dispute - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, July 13, 2023

LP v APC: Strange, petitioner's account favours winner of Benue NASS election dispute


The Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in the Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu Federal Constituency of Benue State election, Mr. Raphael Odoh, has told the National/State Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting Makurdi that the election he is challenging was free and fair in his Okpoga North Council Ward of Okpokwu Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State. 

The Labour Party and Mr. Odoh are challenging the victory of Philip Agbese of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the grounds of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. 

Mr. Odoh while under cross examination from counsel to the APC, Sam Oyege told the tribunal that "the election was free and fair in my polling unit, the 30 polling units I visited and the entire Okpoga North Council Ward." 

Still under cross examination by Oyege, the petitioner told the court that he was not stationed in one polling unit throughout the election. He agreed with Oyege that there was no way he would personally know what happened in those polling units before he got there and after he left. 

While answering questions from Adetunji Oso, who is the counsel to Philip Agbese, Mr. Odoh said he was accredited with the BVAs machine before voting and the BVAs functioned without issues in Okpoga North. 

When asked by Mr. Oso if It was fair to say the election in Okpoga North was free and fair, free of non-compliance complained of in the petition, Mr Oddo said "yes." 

Mr. Oso then sought the permission of the tribunal to tender the result sheet of Okpoga West Council Ward of Okpokwu LGA. 

Counsel to the petitioners, Mr. Mark Ofiku objected to the admissibility of the document but the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Amina Aliyu reminded him of the agreement at the end of the pre-trial conference where it was resolved that all INEC documents will be admitted without objection. 

He accordingly withdrew his objection and the tribunal admitted the result sheet for Okpoga North West as exhibit. 

The counsel to the petitioners made an oral application for adjournment and the Chairman of the three-man panel adjourned sitting to a later date for continuation of hearing.

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