The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin, Edo State, yesterday admitted in evidence ballot papers used for Ovia North East local government area of Ovia Federal Constituency in Edo State in the April 9, 2011, National Assembly election.
Chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Paul Elechi, labelled the ballot materials contained in 13 bags as exhibits LL1-13 while another bag which was unidentified was labelled exhibit MM. The Head of Operations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Chinedu who tendered the materials on the orders of the tribunal, told the court that each of the bags contained ballot materials used in each ward of Ovia North East LG in the disputed election.
Counsel to the petitioner, Chief Ferdinand Orbih, thereafter made an application that the materials should be sorted out, unit by unit of the 13 wards.
He also applied that the valid votes should be counted and recorded for the respective candidates in the election, while the invalid votes should also be noted. His application was not opposed to by the counsel to the 1st to 4th respondents in the matter.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Paul Elechi, before adjourning hearing in the matter to Wednesday (today), ordered that the exhibits should be sorted out and counted in the presence of counsel to the petitioners and the respondents, the secretary of the tribunal, INEC staff who tendered the exhibits and the police in view of the sensitive nature of the exercise.
Mr. Charity Amayaenvbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had petitioned the tribunal over INEC’s declaration of Engr. Isaac Nosakhare Osahon of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as winner of Ovia federal constituency seat of the National Assembly election.