… Tribunal direct secretary to furnish it, counsel with recounted ballot papers report
The Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election, Osagie Ize- Iyamu on Friday closed their cases before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin- City after calling 91 witnesses.
BusinessDay reports that the petitioners completed 14 days allotted to them by the tribunal to prove their petitions before it that the declaration of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate Godwin Obaseki the winner of the election by Independent National Electoral Commission was done in wrong.
Recall that INEC had declared Godwin Obaseki the winner of the election having polled majority of lawful votes cast during the election.
Before PDP closed it case, the chairman of the three-man panel tribunal, Ahmed Badamasi ordered the secretary of the tribunal to furnish it with the outcome of the recounted ballot papers exercise done at the open court.
Badamasi had Thursday granted the prayers of the petitioners for the recounting of ballot papers for four local government areas namely Akoko-Edo, Egor, Etsako West and Etsako East respectively.
The ordered for the disclosure of the outcome of the recounted ballot papers was sequel to an oral application made by counsel to the petitioners, Yusuf Alli SAN who urged the court to direct the secretary of the tribunal to make public the final report of the recounted ballot papers exercise.
In spite of objections by counsel to respondents, the tribunal averred that the non-conclusion of the counting exercise does not prevent the secretary of the tribunal from presenting the final report of recounted ballot papers to the court.
It ordered the secretary of the court to furnish it with the final outcome of the recounted ballot papers exercise as well as made same available to the petitioners and respondents counsel on or before next week Monday .
The court however adjourned sitting to next Tuesday for INEC, the first respondent to open its defence.
The adjournment was occasioned by oral application by INEC’s counsel Onyinye Anumonye that the respondent would want to have the final report of the recounted ballot papers exercise to enable it prepare for the defense.