OBINGWA-WEST: How LP Witnesses Disappeared Again When Called To Testify Against Erondu At Tribunal | #NwokeukwuMascot
|Erondu Uchenna Erondu | Victoria Onwubiko|
By G.C Egejuru, Umuahia.
There was a mild drama at Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, Abia state today, as the remaining 10 witnesses scheduled to testify against the member representing Obingwa-West state constituency at Abia state House of Assembly(ABHA), Hon Erondu Uchenna Erondu absconded and refused to testify in court.
The petitioner, candidate of Labour Party (LP) Mrs. Victoria Onwubiko who had filed a suit, challenging the victory of Hon. Erondu in the 2023 general polls had told the court through his Lead Counsel during their last sitting, that they would bring more witnesses to court today and close their case as well.
Surprisingly, the Lead Counsel to the petitioner, Barr. Raymond Nkannebe prayed for an adjournment to a later day to enable them get more witnesses again, as their witnesses earlier seen within the court premises disappeared again.
|Photos from court sitting, today Tuesday July 25th 2023|
The tribunal Chairman, Hon. Justice Kutigi frowned at the development, urged the Petitioner to brace up as there is no more time to waste.
Hon. Justice Kutigi who further disclosed that the tribunal have 15 other cases they are handling with limited time to conclude, he also noted that such would not be tolerated any longer. He advised the petitioner to close their case if their witnesses are not forth coming instead of taking their time unnecessarily.
Following this development, the court adjourned to the 3rd day of August 2023 to enable the petitioner bring their witnesses to court and close their case as well.
Recall our previous Reports of how seven out of 10 witnesses called by the candidate of the Labour party (LP), Mrs. Victoria Dibunwa Onwubiko to testify against the member representing Obingwa-West State constituency at Abia state House of Assembly (ABHA), Hon. Erondu Uchenna Erondu absconded without testifying at the Election Tribunal, on 14th July 2023.
Mrs. Onwubiko of the Labour Party (LP) the petitioner had earlier listed a total of 82 witnesses in her petition, which she subsequently reduced to 20 witnesses at pre trial stage.
|The sitting had a full court hall|
One of the three witnesses who earlier on the same day (14th July 2023) alleged under cross-examination, that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) register was not used and the poor functioning Biomidal verification Accreditation system (BVAS), used in the conduct of the Obingwa-West state constituency election, reversed himself and admitted that INEC voter register was used and BVAS functioned properly from which he (the witness) also voted.
Another witness also admitted under cross examination that there was no mutilation and alteration of exhibits, especially form EC 8A which was the result sheet as he earlier alleged.
Mrs. Onwubiko had in a suit: EPT/HA/11/2023; Mrs. Victoria Dibunma Onwubiko Vs Hon. Erondu Uchenna Erondu Jnr, alleged that Hon Erondu Jnr was wrongly declared winner of the Obingwa-West state constituency election, praying the court to declare her the winner.
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