by GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN—REPRESENTATIVE of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Ferdinand Orbih, weekend, refused to sign the report of the sorting and recounting of ballot papers used in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Ovia Federal Constituency election, ordered by the election tribunal sitting in Benin.
Orbih, who is PDP’s counsel, said the modalities used in arriving at the results were not disclosed.
It will be recalled that the three-man tribunal, led by Justice Paul Elechi, had ordered the recounting of the ballot papers following an application by Charity Amayaenvbo in the disputed election.
Amayaenvbo of PDP is challenging the declaration of Mr. Isaac Osahon of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, winner of the election in the constituency held by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on April 9, 2011.
At the resumed hearing of the petition, Orbih told the tribunal that he refused to sign the report of the recounted ballot “because the way the result was arrived at was not stated.”
He alleged that invalid votes were added to the score of the ACN’s candidate.
Although Orbih tendered the report which the tribunal labeled Exhibit LN, he pleaded with the tribunal to admit the counterfoils of the used ballot papers and the unused ballot papers as evidence.
He said: “The counterfoils are relevant in determining the petition because it was a control measure to determine the ballot papers that were cast and whether a particular vote counted for a candidate came out of a ballot paper that was issued in a particular unit.”
However, the defendants opposed the application. In a short ruling, the tribunal upheld the objections of the defendants.