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DELTA GUBER ELECTION: TRIBUNAL ADMITS LETTER OF 'NO ELECTION' IN EVIDENCE

By NBF News
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A letter complaining of non-conduct of election in several wards of Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State in the April 26 governorship election was yesterday admitted in evidence by the tribunal sitting in Asaba. Petitioner Witness, Felix Adanse who said he is a member of the Labour Party, presented the letter while giving evidence.

It was dated April 27, 2011 and addressed to the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and copied to several other authorities including security agencies. The tribunal admitted it in spite objections mounted by respective counsel to the first, second and third respondents in the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples' Party (DPP), Chief Great Ogboru.

Counsel to first respondent (Dr. Uduaghan), Mr. Ken Mozia had raised the objection that the document was not the one initially frontloaded by the petitioners as one of the documents to be relied upon.

He contended that the one frontloaded had no Resident Electoral Commissioner, Asaba as one of those copied, but the one being tendered by the witness now has REC, Asaba added with pen ink.

Counsel to the second respondent (the PDP), Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun concurred with the argument of the first respondents counsel but added that there was no evidence on the document to prove that it was received by INEC.

But counsel to the petitioners, Mr. Mogaji Sagay argued that the letter was listed as one of the document to be presented as evidence and would be relied on for the petitioners to prove their case.

He contended that INEC is a body known to law and that it was not relevant which office the letter was copied to and urged the tribunal to admit it as evidence.

In her ruling, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Abisoye Ayo admitted the letter in evidence, relying on sections 97(1a) and 98(a & b) of the Evidence Act.