By Austin Ogwuda
Ijaw national leader, Chief E.K. Clark, declined to give his own evidence before the Retrial Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba, yesterday, on the conduct of the 2007 governorship election in Delta State.
Lead counsel to Ogboru, Akintola Adeniyi (SAN) openly announced to the tribunal that Clark, who had earlier made a deposition alleging gross rigging in the governorship polls in the state had changed his mind, declining to come and give evidence when approached at his country home a few days ago.
Meanwhile, the five-man Retrial Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba, yesterday, turned down the request made by the lawyers to the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, seeking to compel the State INEC Resident Electoral Commission (REC) to mount the witness stand and give evidence on the conduct of the 2007 polls.
The tribunal ruled, yesterday, that REC will not testify.
According to th e tribunal,Â Â Â â€œThe petitioner did not apply to call him (REC) as witness and did not come within the court practice direction. He cannot testify. We sustain the objection and we hold that PW10 cannot testify.â€
The REC had earlier produced the electoral materials used for the polls as ordered by the tribunal following a motion by Akintola. But Akintola insisted that he wanted to put the REC in the witness box which INEC lead counsel, Mr. Ken Mozia, objected vehemently. Meanwhile, over sixty persons have so far testified in the case.
The State Chairman of DPP, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, who testified as 65th prosecution witness, had wanted to tender 12 envelops loaded with voters cards of alleged disenfranchised voters during the said polls, but was turned down on a similar ground that they were not pleaded in the petition. Further hearing in the case has been adjourned to 23rd of this month.