The tussle over the Anambra Governorship elections got another twist on Thursday when the Governorship Elections petitions tribunal sitting in Awka ruled that Mr. Edwin Onoja from the Policy And legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) has the right to testify on the November 16, 17 and 30, 2013 election held in the state.
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The ruling was reserved for Thursday by the tribunal chairman, Hon Justice Ishaq Bello after heated argument between the legal teams of both the petitioners and the respondents.
Delivering the 15 minute ruling, Bello said that the objection raised by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN counsel to Governor Willie Obiano and Patrick Ikwueto SAN for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) were misconceived.
The witness who was subpoenaed having been invited by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cover the election through Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room (NCSESR) was halted by the opposition counsels when Senator Chris Ngige’s lead Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN introduced him.
The reasons for Ikpeazu SAN and Ikwueto’s SAN objections stemmed from the fact that the reports sought to be tendered were not authored by the witness, and were not signed.
But Akeredolu SAN said that the admissibility of the documents was generally guided by three main entries firstly, whether the document was pleaded, whether it was relevant and whether the documents were admissible in law.
He said the petitioner had pleaded election observers including (NCSESR), adding that they were going to rely on them noting that whatever report they bring was very relevant.
But Ikpeazu SAN and Ikwueto SAN maintained that the witness was not the author, adding that the author was one Clement Nwankwo who Ikwueto described as his friend and school mate.
However, when the argument lasted for so long, the tribunal chairman deferred the ruling till Thursday which he eventually ruled in favour of the petitioner.