The election petition tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia state capital on Tuesday continued hearing on the petition filed by Mao Arukwe Ohuabunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the victory of senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2019 senatorial election of Abia North senatorial district.
The case was stalled today due to absence of a missing document which is vital to the hearing of the matter.
Mao Ohuabunwa responded to the questions fed by pressmen when he said: “It was unfortunate that document that was legally and duly tendered before a court of law are found missing. But the point is that no matter how you delay justice, justice must be. The number of accredited voters differs from votes cast at the polling unit then the votes recorded at the ward level was also in difference with the other document. So that shows you that these were cooked up result. I suspect that there must be a back hand move to remove those documents. It’s Very clear that very soon we will take our position in Abia north. I have confidence that the truth will prevail.”
Barr. Mike Onyeka the counsel to Mao Ohuabunwan spoke to pressmen and said: “they have adjourned the mater so that the two sides can set out the issue. The missing documents can be retendered. We still have some copies of what was tendered. By agreement of the parties, the document can be re-tendered, it will not stop the proceedings and it will not in any way obstruct the conduct of the petitioner from the proceedings. It’s a natural situation, it can happen and it won’t be the end of the matter”.
Barr. Perfect Okorie, the counsel to senator Orji Uzor Kalu in his response to pressmen said: “Yesterday we were here, the same thing. They couldn’t find their document, they said they have a log jam, they said they are having issues with the reconciliation of their document, we said well, however they want the proceedings to be, we are already here. Today we have come, the put another witness and they continued in the same light and said they are looking for one of the documents which they tendered.”
“We said the same document they said they cannot find, we can tender the same document and they equally said they have copies and the court said bring your copy you said you have, use it so that we make progress. The court called counsels together and asked counsel and we agreed that whatever copies they said they have, let them bring it, we will not object, which we came to court believing that is what will happen. But when they came in, they said they don’t want to do it that way again, that they don’t want to bring their own copies of the document.” Barr. Perfect said.
“But they were the last to have dealings with that documents which they tendered and they admitted it in the court that they applied for certified true copies of those documents. It is also on record that the respondent has never applied to seek for any of those documents.
“We are telling them that it may be on the process of making photocopies of those documents that they might got missing. But obviously, the petitioners were the last to have dealings with those documents.” Barr. Perfect added.
The matter was however adjourned to 22nd and 23rd July, 2019.
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