By NewsCritic Reporters
The Labour Party, LP, and Member representing Umuahia -Ikwuano federal constituency at the National Assembly, Hon (Sir) Obi Aguocha have closed their defense at the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, in the petition challenging the victory of the Labour candidate by Rt Hon Chinedum Orji, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the election.
The third respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, today presented their sole witness, Kelvin Moritz, who said he is the principal data processing officer at INEC headquarters Abuja.
The INEC also tendered documents before the tribunal which were admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit by the tribunal.
The documents were the receipt of certification of documents issued by INEC, the certificate of compliance, polling units results of Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano LGAs form EC8 A (2) and polling results uploaded into INEC IREV for the three LGAs.
Though the first and second respondents counsel, Obi Aguocha and Labour Party- Barr Anaga and Valentine Ofia objected to the admissibility of the documents, saying that they would state their reasons during their final addresses, the counsel to the Petitioner, Barr Nkume said he has no objection.
The First and second respondents objected to all the documents tendered by the 3rd respondents, prompting the Petitioner’s Counsel to query why the First and 2nd respondents are objecting to the INEC results.
Barr Anaga the First respondent’s counsel retorted that the way and manner the INEC Witness was brought from the backdoor remains suspicious, and that INEC couldn’t inform the first and second respondents of its plans ahead to compare notes.
During cross- examination of the INEC Witness by first respondents counsel, Barr Anaga, the witness was asked how long he has been working for INEC and he answered for 16 years.
When asked as INEC official if he is aware that at the end of the election for Umuahia/Ikwuano federal constituency that INEC collated the results and declared the LP candidate (Aguocha) winner of the election?
Initially, the INEC Witness said he wasn’t aware” thereby causing a little laughter…but the counsel cuts in and again asked him with emphasis that he is “INEC official and to the best of his knowledge INEC declared LP winner having scored majority of the lawful votes cast during the election”, and he answered ‘yes’.
While he was being cross- examined by the 2nd respondent counsel (LP), Barr Valentine Offia told the witness that he was asked to bring all the polling units results, that why did he exclude the results of Oboro 2″ and he answered that what he brought was generated from IREV and given to him is what he brought.
Then he was also asked “why did you exclude Ahiaocha results in Umuahia South?…why did you exclude Umuhu results and Afugiri polling units results in Umuahia North?
“Do you know that the Petitioners addressed the subpoena personally to you… and he answered ‘no’.
The Petitioner’s Counsel Barr Nkume during his cross examination, said the Petitioner’s are challenging his declaration and are saying that some polling unit results were swapped?
At the end of the cross- examination counsel to INEC Patrick Enyeribe Esq announced the closure of the case of the third respondent.
The tribunal fixed August 16 for adoption of their final addresses.