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NASS Tribunal: PDP, APC Trade Words Over INEC Result

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As the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Abakaliki continues its pre-trial siting in Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital counsel to the petitioner, Chief Mba Okweni (SAN) and counsel to the 1st respondent, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor has continued to trade words over the authenticity of the Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC)  certified true copy result.

Speaking to journalists shortly after yesterday’s sitting at the tribunal, Chief Mba Okweni who described as ridiculous the claim by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Hon Laz Ogbe and INEC that the petitioner forged the result sheets issued to him for inspection by the commission, insisted that the result given to the petitioner is the same with what they got from the field.

According to the SAN, “This is ridiculous, I think INEC needs to consider how documents duly certified by the commission, the same document we got from the field during the election and it tarries with what INEC certified and gave to us would now become forged.

“We will want them to bring the one they said is the proper one outside what was used in the conduct of the election because what we want to put before the tribunal is that both the ones they gave to us from the field and the ones INEC certified and gave to us, are the  same and the results should be computed on the basis of things that happened in the field not the manipulation they did at the wards and  local government collation centres.

“Elections were not conducted at the ward but at the polling units so

the actual election result computed at the polling units should be

declared. That is why I want the tribunal to examine whether the

person INEC declared winner is the actual winner of the election on

the basis of what took place at polling units”.

But in a swift reaction, counsel to the 1st Respondent, Chief Obi

Okafor represented by Barr. Friday Agbom maintained that the documents

the petitioner intends to present to the tribunal were forged adding

that they will seek the leave of the tribunal to reject the documents.

Agbom stated that the 2st respondent (PDP) led by Barr Roy Umahi had

during the pre-trial move a motion seeking to strike out the

petitioner’s petition on the ground of non compliance with the

electoral rule.

According to him, “The electoral rule specifically provides that

immediately the respondent files his response, the petitioner replies

to the response to the respondent and they applied to the court  on

what we call pre-trial information within seven days which they did

not do and the rule is that  you have to do that as soon as the

respondent has complied but they waited until all respondents had filed

their response.”

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