At the very least 42 witnesses will testify towards the victory of Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, within the final Nationwide Meeting election, in a petition earlier than the Nationwide/State Meeting Elections Petition Tribunal in Enugu.
Mr Z. Akubo, counsel to the petitioner, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), disclosed this throughout the pre-hearing session of the tribunal on Wednesday in Enugu.
Information Company of Nigeria (NAN) reviews that Ibekaku-Nwagwu is difficult the declaration by INEC of Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Celebration (PDP), as winner of the Feb. 9 Enugu West Senatorial election.
Akubo mentioned that the petitioners should still be compelled to subpoena extra witnesses relying on the circumstances of the listening to.
He requested that 5 minutes be allotted to every of the overall witnesses and 15 minutes to the star and professional witnesses for the adoption of their testimonies.
The counsel mentioned that the petitioners had not filed points for willpower within the petition, including that they’d achieve this in the end.
In her submission, Mrs Justina Offiah (SAN), counsel to Ekweremadu, mentioned that the respondent can be presenting 36 witnesses to show his case.
Offiah mentioned that the respondent may or won’t name all his witnesses relying on the witnesses introduced by the petitioners.
“Our aim is to match the petitioners witness by witness,” she mentioned.
The senior advocate mentioned that the primary respondent would reject any doc that didn’t move the admissibility check.
Counsels to the PDP and the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC), Messrs A. I. Ani (SAN) and Emeka Udeogba respectively, mentioned they’d current six witnesses every.
Nevertheless, Udeogba mentioned that INEC could be compelled to subpoena extra witnesses relying on the circumstances.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Kereng, introduced adjournment of its sitting till Could 23 for graduation of listening to.
The tribunal had previous to the pre-hearing session heard an utility by the primary respondent for the placing out of sure paragraphs within the petition.
Offiah then instructed the tribunal that such paragraphs raised critical prison allegations of falsification of figures, poll field snatching and stuffing, however didn’t identify the alleged perpetrators.
The counsel mentioned that having solely INEC as a respondent was not ample sufficient to defend the alleged crimes.
“If the alleged perpetrators are not mentioned in the petition, then the allegations need not go on trial. We urge the tribunal to strike out those offensive paragraphs,” Offiah mentioned.
Nevertheless, counsel to the petitioners/respondents instructed the tribunal that that they had filed a counter-affidavit based mostly on Part 285 (8) of the Nigerian Structure and urged the tribunal to strike out the appliance.
The tribunal had nevertheless reserved ruling on the appliance.