Enugu Governorship Election Tribunal Dismisses Forensic Report By APC Candidate

Okey-EzeaThe Enugu State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Friday dismissed the forensic report on election materials brought by the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Okey Ezea.

Mr. Ezea is challenging the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He had requested the tribunal to adopt the forensic report conducted on all the election materials used in the state for the 2015 election as part of his petition.

The counsel to the respondent, Patrick Ikwueto, opposed the application on the ground that the petitioner failed to list the report in his petition, adding that it was a pre-hearing matter which ought to be admitted at the pre-hearing stage.

Mr. Ikwueto said the petitioner had at the pre-hearing stage informed the tribunal that he had concluded the inspection of the election material through an expert but did not adopt it.

“This is a brave act by the petitioner to jeopardize the court process”, he said.

“The admission of the report means re-opening the pre-hearing issues which the tribunal has gone beyond and allowing the document as evidence can affect the proceedings as the man who signed the report is not known”.

The counsel also argued that the time for submission of such report had expired as required by the Electoral Act and urged the tribunal to dismiss it.

In his response, the counsel to the petitioner, George Ogara, said he acted in compliance with the law.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice A.D. Kuwaffa, held that the petitioner failed to list the report in his petition during pre-hearing and dismissed the application.

He adjourned the case till July 22 for the re-opening of the first respondent’s case.