Tribunal: Soldiers, Policemen Gave False Testimony On Rivers Election, INEC Witnesses Say

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Eight witnesses for the Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday told the Rivers State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, that the security men, who had testified for the All Progressives Congress lied on oath before the tribunal.

The witnesses also told the tribunal during their cross examination by counsel for the APC, Mr Akinlolu Olujimi, on Monday that the security men were ignorant of the electoral processes at the polling units.

Fifty eight witnesses, among whom were soldiers, policemen and officials of State Security Services, were called by the APC to prove the allegations that the April 11 governorship election in the state was marred by violence.

Some of the witnesses had testified that there was no election while others claimed that the election was disrupted by shooting of guns by some hoodlums and ballot snatching.

The INEC witnesses, however, said the election was peaceful, credible and that all legal procedures for the election were also followed before the declaration of Governor Nyesom Wike as the winner of the governorship poll.

All the witnesses, who were presiding officers in five local government areas, namely Degema, Gokana, Ogba /Egbema/Ndoni, Andoni and Opobo/Nkoro, added that the card readers and manual accreditation were used during the election.
The Presiding Officer at Ward 4 Unit 10, Mr Derekunor Richmond, described the soldiers who testified earlier as liars who were not at the polling unit.
He said the governorship election was peaceful, credible and conducted in line with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
Richmond pointed out that he met other presiding officers, who participated in the collation exercise at the ward collation centre where results were compiled.
Another Presiding Officer, Nwachukwu Chimezie, who conducted election at Unit 9, Ward 14 of Degema, noted that the election was peaceful and credible in his jurisdiction.
According to Chimezie, the soldiers and riot policemen, who testified before the tribunal lied on oath.
He said Degema LGA was peaceful on Election Day as he slept in the town on April 10 with no case of shooting or thuggery witnessed.
He added that all electoral procedures were followed before the results were declared in the presence of party agents.
Another INEC witness, Apoodari Dilo, the Presiding Officer for Unit 4 Ward 4 in Gokana, berated the soldiers, saying there was no violence during the governorship election.

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