Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
There was a mild drama and yesterday during proceedings at the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal in Benin City when one of the petitioners’ witnesses (PW 14), Mr. Yusuf Seidu Abu, mounted the dock only to claim that he was not just a witness but at the same time, a petitioner against the state 2016 governorship election.
The petitioners in the case are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
However, Abu, who was facing cross-examination, said, “I voted in unit 001, ward 8 and I functioned as the ward collation agent for the PDP. We had nine polling units.”
On being asked: “When the petitioner in his petition stated that you had 10 polling units, did you object?’ He thundered: “I am the petitioner.”
This reply evoked laughter and served as a timely dose of comic relief in an otherwise serious court case.
The witness, who had earlier stated during cross-examination that although multiple voting in some units was his grievance, he also wanted to add over-voting and non-accreditation to his complaints.
He, however, buckled when asked if he was in all the units to have noticed multiple voting.
“I was not in unit 9 to have noticed multiple voting. I was in unit 001. In unit 08, I was not there to have noticed multiple voting because I registered and voted at unit 001,” he answered.
Continuing in a booming voice, he said: “I was the ward 8 collation agent, but I did not sign the result sheet and nobody signed for my party. I signed the unit result as the polling agent.”
According to him, he claimed he signed the result sheet because there was nothing he could do even though he was not the polling agent.
Further attracting laughter, PW 14 who on one hand noted that “accreditation and voting did not take place simultaneously,” however, agreed to have voted without accreditation, saying nothing was wrong with his action.