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RIVERS INEC’s WITNESS GOES BLIND IN COURT AS DAKUKU’s LAWYER TURNS ON A FLOODLIGHT OF FACTS AND FIGURES

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A melodrama played out at the Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja as the court, in the case of Dakuku versus Wike and others resumed sitting today. The Justice Muhammad Ambrosa led Tribunal had on
Friday adjourned hearing till Monday 21st September following an application an application by an INEC lawyer Mr Alex Ikpeazu who told the Court that his boss and INEC lead counsel, Dr Onyiyechi Ikpeazu was down with fever and would not be able to make it to court.
On resumption of proceedings today, INEC was armed with 6 witnesses to testify in the witness box. The first witness to testify in defence of INEC today was Ogechi Anyanwu MaryAnn, a former Youth Corp member who is designated as PO57 who told the court that she worked as an election official at Onne Trailer Park.
Maryann who looked composed as she reeled out what appeared to be a well rehearsed script, suddenly lost composure and the extent of almost losing her eyesight as lead lawyer representing Dakuku, Mr Akin Olujimi charged her in a cross examination. Here’s an excerpt of the proceedings :
Olujimi: Can you confirm what materials were Given to you?
Witness: Ballot Box, stamp, marker, Register, Card Reader, INEC Bag, polling boot, Apron,INEC Tag, poster of Guidelines of Election.
Olujimi: You said you where given Card reader, Did U use it,?
Witness: Yes at First we started with The card reader, when The process was Getting difficult, could not be identified by the card reader, we started manual accreditation,
Olujimi: Where you not instructed that you should use only Card readers?
Witness: We were trained before the presidential election, and we where not trained for Governorship,So that was the instruction giving to us,
Olujimi: Look at Exhibit A9, page 139,Unit Gobor, read out the entry against that Unit in respect of accreditation,
Witness: Sir, I didn’t have any thing like this in my brief,
Olujimi: Read it my friend! So between you and the card reader who is lying?
Witness: As I said I did not have this information and I used manual accreditation,
Olujimi: please read the next line
Witness: I can’t see!
INEC lawyer: let me see, this page is almost Blank,
Judge: get it for me. I can see This Clearly.
Judge: My friend Do you use glasses, ?
Witness: No my lord but sometimes my eye disturbs me.
Five other witnesses who testified for INEC told the court that they conducted a free and fair elections without violence and irregularities.
They all maintained that both card reader machines and manual accreditation were freely used for the conduct of the shambolic governorship election in Rivers State. The court however adjourned the matter to 28th of September following a motion from the INEC legal team, as it was obvious no witness was available to testify for them.