By EMMA AMAIZE, AUSTIN OGWUDA, FESTUS AHON & BULOU KOSIN
NINE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials deployed from Edo and Bayelsa States to conduct the January 6 governorship re-run poll in Delta State testified, weekend, before the Delta State governorship re-run petition tribunal that they collated and announced the results of the elections from different wards in Ethiope-West, Warri South-West and Warri South local government areas.
As at 4.00 p.m., yesterday, the tribunal ordered INEC to enumerate the ballot papers used for the election according to the various wards before they would be admitted as exhibit. It rose for one hour for the commission to effect compliance.
The order followed objection by petitioner’s counsel, Professor Mogbeyi Sagay, that the ballot papers produced by INEC before the tribunal were not properly marked for easy identification and reference. The court agreed with him that every document to be admitted as exhibit be suitably identified.
The Democratic People’s Party, DPP, governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, who is the petitioner, is disputing the results declared by the commission in eight local government areas of the state, including Ethiope-West, Warri South-West and Warri South.
The INEC officials who gave evidence , on Friday, at the tribunal, were, Mr. Samuel Udeze , who served as a Registration Area Collation Officer, RACO, at Oghara 5, ward 11, Ethiope West; Annette Umeh, ward 8, Ethiope West; Robert Unoakhe, ward 9, Ethiope West; Mrs.Angela Otokito, ward 2, Warri South; and Clement Osu, ward 1, Warri South-West.
Four others, Ekpenyong Okon, ward 4, Madangho, Warri South-West; Aghedo Sunday Okhionkpamwonyi; Christopher Sunday Anyaogu; and Akhigbe Andrew, testified, yesterday,. They were led in evidence by INEC’s lead counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, and cross examined by Ogboru’s counsel, Sagay.
Udeze said he distributed electoral materials for the election according to the guidelines issued by the commission for the election,adding that ink pads were issued to the presiding officers in the respective polling units.
He, however, said under cross examination that form EC 40 C was not used in the election. Umeh corroborated Udeze’s statement that materials for the election, including voter’s register were distributed to all the polling units in ward 8 where she supervised, adding that she distributed ink- pads to units 002, 003, 009, 013, 014, 015, 0I6 contrary to the suggestion that she did not do so.