The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday told the Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three man election petition tribunal that it might not call oral witnesses in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate Osagie Ize- Iyamu.
The lead counsel to INEC Onyechi Ikpeazu made the disclosure when he opened s defense at the tribunal for the first respondent.
Ikpeazu also told the tribunal that the commission would not exhaust the 10 days allotted to it by the court to defend the myriad of allegations of irregularities leveled against it by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Osagie Ize- Iyamu.
The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Osagie Ize- Iyamu are contesting the conduct and declaration of All Progressives Congress and its candidate Godwin Obaseki the winner of the election.
According to him, we will like to open our case today and probably we have led copious evidence through cross examinations of the petitioners’ witnesses.
‘’ My Lords we propose to tender documents in few places where we feel there is the need to confront the petitioners and enhanced the evidence already led and at the end of it if need be we will call witnesses’’, he said.
He however tendered true certified 10 copies of form EC8B, being collation results for the 10 wards in Uhunmwode local government area which was admitted in evidence and marked exhibits by the tribunal.
Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) counsel to petitioners had objected to the tendering of the documents while Ken Mozia (SAN) counsel to Obaseki and Lateef Fagbemi counsel to APC did not object to the tendering of the documents.
Pinheiro objected that the forms EC8B for the local government sought to be tendered by INEC have already been admitted in evidence and marked as exhibits PO 154-163 by the tribunal.
He contended that the documents are certified true copies by INEC and that since they are from the commission and already admitted and marked exhibits by the tribunal it will not be right for the same tribunal to mark them with another exhibit numbers.
Followed arguments that characterized the model of tendering the documents by INEC counsel, the tribunal chairman, Ahmed Badamasi directed INEC counsel to prepare schedule of the documents sought to tender and served the schedule on the petitioners, second and third respondents by 6pm today.
He however adjourned to next week Monday for INEC to continue with its defense.