Three witnesses Wednesday testified on behalf of Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal, as the Governor opened his defense in the petition filed by General Charles Airhiavbere, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the July 14, 2012 governorship election.
The witnesses, Henry Idahagbon, Edegbe Uyi Benjamin and Guobadia Helen, all debunked claims earlier made by the witnesses presented to the Tribunal by Gen. Airhiavbere that the ACN rigged the 14 July, 2012 governorship election in their various wards and units.
When Idahagbon was cross examined by Counsel to Airhiavbere, Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), he described as untrue allegation made by one Sunny Imafidon who alleged that the ACN members led by Idahagbon took huge amount of money to INEC officials in unit 9.
“I don’t know Imafidon. As the agent of the ACN, I monitored the election in my ward and even across the state because I was the Secretary of the Campaign Orgainzation. And through out the election, it was free and fair devoid of any violence. The allegation that we bribed any INEC official is untrue and that I took policemen to voting center was also untrue because I don’t have an orderly even up till now,” Idahagbon said.
However, the legal fire works heightened at the Tribunal, when Akpofure objected to the voter’s card from the second witness, Guobadia Helen, which was tended as exhibit by lead Counsel to the ACN, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), after Akpofure argued that the voter’s card was not in the deposition before the court.
But Oyeyipo, Omoruyi Omonuwa (SAN), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) countered his claim, declaring that Akpofure “misconstrued the provisions of the Electoral Act as regards the law relating to evidence.”
They further argued that “in a bid to test the credibility of the witness it is proper during cross examination to present her voters card in order to show that she was actually a registered voter.”
After the heated argument, the three-man panel led by Justice Muazu Pindiga, accepted the voters card as exhibit, asserting that “the voters card is part of the evidence and it is important to the issue at hand.”
Further cross-examination of witnesses was adjourned till Thursday by the Tribunal.