Edo Election: Tribunal Turns Down PDP’s Request for More Time to Call Witnesses

The Edo State election petition Tribunal sitting in Benin, Friday turned down the request of the PDP and its governorship candidate in September 28 governorship election in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s request for an extension of time to call more witnesses and tender more evidences.
The request for more time follows the expiration of the 14 days allotted to them to present evidences and call witnesses which ended at 1pm on Friday.
Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ahmed Badamasi, while giving the ruling, said that apart from the fact that the Tribunal lacks the powers for such an extension, the application for extension of time lacked merit and so it was refused.
It would be recalled that during the 14 days, the petitioners had called 91 witnesses out of about 1000 it had projected, while it presented over 3000 assorted documents duly certified by INEC, and admitted by the court which labelled them as exhibits.
The Tribunal however granted the petitioners’ application for the result of the counted ballot papers for the 4 local governments to be presented to the Tribunal .
INEC through its counsel had asked the court for the result of the uncompleted counting to be made available to it since it will be their turn to call witnesses and present documents after the petitioners.
The counting which began on Thursday was still in progress before the tribunal went on break and when it resumes the judge ruled that the counting has to stop as the petitioner has exhausted the time allotted it.
Meanwhile, the Tribunal has adjourned sitting till Tuesday, 14th February 2017, when it will be the turn of the 1st respondent (INEC), to have its 14 days to defend the result of the election, in which it gave victory to the APC.
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Author: News Editor

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