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INEC fails to present witness at Enugu governorship election tribunal

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) could not, on Wednesday, present any witness to disprove the allegation that the Enugu State governorship election was manipulated, while defending the allegation by the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Mr. Chijioke Edeoga, at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Enugu.

The election held on March 18, 2023, it could be recalled, had produced the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Peter Mbah as the governor.

During a resumed hearing of court proceedings, the electoral body could not produce a first witness to justify its declaration of Barrister Mbah as winner of the governorship election.

When the case was called up for hearing, INEC’s counsel led by Humphrey Okoli simply told the court that he did not bring any witness.

Okoli said: “The first respondent (INEC) is mandated to open the case. My Lord, after a thorough review of the case, we have decided not to bring in any witness.”

On their part, Peter Mbah/PDP despite expressing determination to produce witnesses in their defence, sought leave of the tribunal for an extension of time to enable them bring their witnesses.

The counsel to PDP, Benjamin Nwosu, asked the tribunal to adjourn for two hours, arguing that he had four days to defend the case, adding that the party would want to call up to nine witnesses.

“We are inclined to open our case today. However, we will need two hours to present our witnesses,” he said.

Counsel to Edeoga did not oppose the application for an adjournment and the tribunal, stood down the case for two hours to enable Peter Mbah/PDP to produce their first witness.

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