TRIBUNAL: LP Candidate, Onwubiko's Witnesses Make U-turn, Confirm There Was No Over-Voting | #NwokeukwuMascot
There was drama in Umuahia, Abia State as witnesses who came to testify in favour of the candidate of Labour party (LP) for Obingwa-West state constituency seat in the 2023 elections, Mrs Victoria Onwubiko, in Abia State Elections Petition Tribunal, made sudden reversals of their over-voting allegations, confirming that there was no over-voting.
Mrs. Onwubiko who lost the ABHA election to Hon. Erondu Uchenna Erondu Jnr with over 10,000 votes had approached the Tribunal, alleging cases of over-voting, mis-allocations of votes among others, praying the tribunal to declare her winner.
During her cross-examination recently, Mrs. Onwubiko read out to the Tribunal, the Labour Party (LP) Abia State House of Assembly (ABHA) primary election results, held in Abia state and tendered in the court as exhibit, and confirmed that she contested for Obingwa Uhie-East constituency instead of Obingwa-West state constituency.
|Mrs Victoria Onwubiko|
She further expressed uncertainty if her name was in the LP list submitted to INEC 30 days before elections.
Meanwhile, another witness, Mr. Eric Egwuibe of Ward Three, Polling Unit (PU) 17, who alleged that there was no collation of results at Umuanunu Obingwa, also admitted under cross examination that he did not vote on the election day, neither did he monitor election results in all the PUs in Ward Three, rather relied on information from their party agents to make up his claims.
Egwuibe who earlier stated that Ward Three has 34 PUs, later reversed himself, confirming it was 29 PUs as cited in other relevant documents.
When asked if he has the pink copy of the result or the BVAS he referenced in his deposition, Egwuibe said no; confirming also that he did not report cases of alleged criminalities he cited as a witness to the Police.
The proprietor, Jet Age private school Amapu Eastern Ngwa Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA), Mr Onwunali Jap Nnamdi, who also said that he served as a Collation Agent in Ward Four, had earlier claimed to be physically present to witness all the election results as announced in Ward Four, but later reversed himself, confirming that he relied on reports the PU agents gave him to make his deposition.
In a related development, the Collation Agent for Ward Six, Mr. Iheadindu Eme, said that there was over-voting in his PU (Mgboko Amairi PU 002) where he voted, but after calculating the following in court; total number of accredited voters = 150, total number of valid votes cast from EC8A as 149, he reversed himself and admitted that there was nolonger over-voting as he earlier alleged.
Similarly, Chief Uche Enwereji, from Abayi Owahia who claimed to be an agent of LP, confirmed that his name was not in the official agent list of Labour Party approved and submitted to INEC for the election exercise, neither was he accredited by INEC as a Collation Agent in the election.
He had alleged as a witness that there was over-voting in his PU, 003, in Abayi Owahia but after the following calculations in court; total number of voters on the register = 686, number of accredited Voters =184, number of ballot papers issued to the PU = 686, total number of valid votes cast =181, reversed himself, confirming that there was no over-voting as he earlier stated.
Mrs, Onwubiko through his lead counsel also closed his case while the matter was adjourned to a later date.
|Hon Erondu Uchenna Erondu|
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, and the member representing Obingwa-West State constituency, Hon. Erondu Uchenna Erondu Jnr had polled 13,769, to defeated the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Mrs Victoria Onwubiko, who scored 3,028 to win the Obingwa-West state constituency seat in the 2023 elections as declared by INEC.
Information gathered revealed that Abia State House of Assembly elections for Obingwa-West state Constituency, took place in 175 PUs while Mrs. Onwubiko alleged that there were irregularities in 82 PUs but brought only Eight witnesses to give credence to her petition.
Recall that Mrs. Onwubiko of the Labour Party (LP) who dragged Hon. Erondu Jnr. of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to court, had listed a total of 82 witnesses in her petition, later reduced it to 20 witnesses for an undisclosed reasons at the pre trial stage.
On the first day of the hearing, the petitioner listed 10 witnesses, and only three of them testified, others ran away.
On the second day, the petitioner listed 10 witnesses and none of them who were earlier seen within the court premises came up to testify against Hon. Erondu Jnr. but ran away.
But on Thursday, August 17, 2023, the Petitioner, and Four others testified, making it a total of 8 witnesses and she closed her case.
Meanwhile, INEC, PDP and the member representing Obingwa-West State constituency in ABHA will open their cases on the next adjourned date.