By Alemma Aliu
THE Edo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin City, yesterday, rejected the prayer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to recount the ballot papers used for Etsako Federal Constituency during the National Assembly election in March.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice O. Ogundana, declined the plea of the petitioners, Mr Blessing Agbomere and the PDP in a ruling on an application by counsel, Mr Chika Adindu requesting the recounting and finger print assessment of the ballot papers used for the poll
Agbomere is challenging the declaration of Mr Johnson Oghuma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the winner of the Etsako Federal Constituency election.
The tribunal ruled that there was no provision in the Electoral Act as amended that provides for recount after declaration of result.
“At the place of voting, the polling officers can allow the agents to count. Recounting and finger print assessment does not have any correlation with errors or miscalculation, as a result, the application lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.”
Meanwhile the tribunal has fixed June 10, 2019 to hear the petition by Zubaru Abubakar of the PDP challenging the election of Ganiyu Audu of APC for the Estako West I constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly.
Counsel to Zubaru, R. Isenalumhe, informed the tribunal that his client planned to call 22 witnesses in the nine units being challenged.
Counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, N. Okon said two witnesses would be called but other witnesses might be subpoenaed.
The APC through its counsel, M.I Afalokhai, said it will call 19 witnesses and one other on subpoena.
Counsel to Audu, C. Aiguobaruoghian, said his client will call 19 witnesses and two others on subpoena.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ogundana, warned that there would no extension of time beyond the 14 days allotted to the parties to call witnesses.