* Our Witnesses are Doing Well- N.O.Oke,SAN
It was a day full of drama and surprises again at Osun election petition Tribunal in Abuja as a PDP Witness from Iwo resisted attempts by an APC/INEC Lawyer to substitute his pink results sheet before the court.
Trouble started when the APC counsel presented a pink copy of the result sheet to the PDP to find out if it is the same or not like the one given to him on election day.
The witness while accepting that the copy is the same however pointed out that his signature in the lawyer’s copy has been tampered with. He then insisted that his own pink copy is the one he stands by.
The counsel to APC attempted to smuggle another pink copy of EC8A of the same unit of the witness but he vehemently objected, questioning the authenticity of the extra pink copy the APC counsel showed to him because the signature on it is not exactly like his own and he does not know where the document emerged from.
PDP lawyers also objected to this kangaroo approach of smuggling/forcing a purported evidence on a witness during cross examination when the Petitioners will not in principle(of justice) be opportuned to further re-examine him on the document forced on him .
The court rejected admitting the document because the witness did not tender it himself neither can a document be forced on him before the court during cross examination since he denied knowledge of such document.
The altercations took almost 15 minutes until the panel chairman rules in favour of the witness.The witness not only had his way but the witness copy of the pink result was eventually adopted.
Aside the above another drama occurred when the APC counsel again attempted to stop the submission of a PDP Witness from being adopted as exhibit. After extensive arguments ,the witness’s submission was adopted by the Tribunal.
Other PDP witnesses reiterated a common line in their submissions so far that the pink copy issued on the day of election is superior to the white certified copy which they allged has been doctored.
Witness upon witness cited differences in the pink copy and the white copy to prove that the purportedly certified copies were doctored after the election.
A common refrain was the non-recording of total votes cast, failure to indicate accredited figures, differences in total number of votes and vote scores by political parties.
Meanwhile, a counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Nathaniel Oke, SAN speaking with journalists after the sitting said “Our witnesses are doing well. Their submissions are streghtening our case.
“They are proving before the court that the results sheets are doctored and manipulated.They are letting the tribunal know that the pink copies issued to agents are more authentic than the purportedly white certified copies”,the counsel said.