Governorship Tussle: Tribunal Orders Recount In Edo State!

Edo State election petition tribunal has ordered the re-count of ballot papers used for the April 14, governorship election in 12 local government areas of the state.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice Orilonishe Olabanji gave the order yesterday while ruling on an application made by counsel to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Action Congress (AC), Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN).

The 12 local governments that would have their votes re-counted are Uhunmwonde, Esan West, Etsako West, Ovia South West, Owan East, Igueben and Esan Central. Others are Ovia North East, Esan North East, Orhionmwon, Esan South East and Owan West.

The application for the recount which was objected to by INEC and Prof. Oserheimen’s counsel, Mr. Roland Otaru and Dr. Alex Izinyon, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), was as a result of the failure of INEC’s Head of Operations, Mr. Kayode Olawale to give the figure of ballot papers that INEC brought to the tribunal in several Ghana must go sacks.
Ruling on the application, the tribunal chairman fixed Saturday and Sunday for the re-count exercise to be carried out by Mr. Olawale, who is currently testifying for INEC. He would be assisted by the assistant secretary to the tribunal.

Justice Orilonishe while overruling the objections from counsel to the respondents, said since the witness had already told the tribunal that he did not know the numbers of the ballot papers as exhibits, the tribunal has the power to order the re-count of the ballot papers as tendered.

Governor Osunbor 

The tribunal ordered that the re-count must be done local government by local government, even as it also directed secretary to the tribunal to provide adequate security for the exercise which the tribunal ruled, counsel or their representatives were free to witness.

The INEC witness could only tender rejected, voided and cancelled ballot papers used for the election in only four out of 18 local government areas in the state, saying “these are the ones we have in our records.”

A mild drama played out at the tribunal yesterday, as the Chairman, Justice Orilonishe ordered INEC Resident Electoral Officer for Edo, Mr. Josiah Uwazuoronye and Mr. Ferdinand Orbih to vacate the front seat meant for Senior Advocates of Nigeria, following an observation by Chief Akintola that the REC was interjecting while he (Akintola) was leading the witness in evidence.
Justice Orilonishe said it was unprofessional for counsel who were not involved in a matter to make contributions or interfere with the proceedings of the tribunal.

– The Sun


4 responses to “Governorship Tussle: Tribunal Orders Recount In Edo State!

  1. Emeka Aneke (Wiltshire)

    A re-count is the least anyone could ask of the courts, so those who have nothing to hide should have no objection.

    I would strongly suggest that whilst this re-count is going on, all the thump printed ballot papers should be electronically scanned, processed and stored simultaneously. This is ensure that those who voted more than once will all be fished out and punished for electoral malpractice.

    The hand-held electronic finger-print scanner needed for this, costs very little and can be purchased within hours anywhere in Europe.

    With this device, I am confident that the days of cheats will be numbered.

  2. Francis Anyimigbo

    I feel very strongly that re-counting might not yield the much desired result especially under the supervision of INEC official presently testing before the Tribunal.

    However, if done under strict security control without the so-called PDP chieftains hijacking the excercise, a fair outcome may be on the way.

    However, I am inclined to submit that it is an act of sabotage for INEC to tender rejected, voided and cancelled ballot papers used for an election this year for only four out of 18 local government areas of a state and have the impudence to say “these are the ones we have in our records.” So the rest are with who? Perhaps with the election riggers!

  3. kennedy Innocent

    This is a possitive development to democracy in edo state; With this re-counting of ballot papers the hope of a common man will be respected not the power drunk leaders the so-called PDP chieftains. My advice to the tribunal organising the re-counting is that the so called PDP members should not be given the location of the counting and even INEC official that is handling the re-counting should be watched properly to aviod second forcification and the should check the voters registered to confirm the numbers of people that registered for the voters card.

  4. The re-counting exercise is a welcome exercise but I pray it is carried out in a very proper way.

    Nosa Ineh

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