Abia North election: Witnesses give conflicting testimonies

Dr Orji Uzor Kalu

Three out of the six Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) witnesses that testified at the National Assembly Election Tribunal yesterday in the consolidated petition of former Governor of Abia State and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) senatorial candidate in the last election in Abia North Senatorial district, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, said they used different signatures from the ones on their deposition papers to hide their true identity even as they gave conflicting testimonies.

Kalu is challenging the declaration of Mao Ohuabunwa as winner of the Abia North senatorial election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Okoro Kalu Agwu, from Akanu Ohafia in Ohafia Local Government Area, said that though he signed the final ward result: “I hid my real signature.”

Similarly, the 4th witness, Chima Uwaezuoke, a businessman and ward collation agent for PDP at Amuda Isuochi in Umunneochi local government area said under cross examination that he has “different signatures.”

He also said that he was a polling agent in all the units at different times, yet he did not sign any unit result.
Uwaezuoke admitted that he accompanied the result to the local government headquarters after the election but could not say whether the collation was done in a hall or on the open field.

Godwin Onyele, a trader from Ezingodo, Ngodo Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area, said he did not work as polling agent nor in any other capacity and, therefore, did not sign any result .

“INEC has the original copy of the result assigned, while the party, PDP, has the duplicate.
He also told the tribunal that, “the signature on the result sheet and the deposition are not the same because I don’t want my identity to be known.”

Counsel to Kalu, Kelvin Nwufo (SAN) filed a motion on notice after the cross examination praying the tribunal to grant the petitioner’s application to bring back the expert witness that testified earlier to come with another document.

After hearing the respondent’s counsel’s objection to the application, the tribunal chairman, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, reserved ruling on the application on September 18, 2015, when the trial would be concluded on the matter by all parties in line with the schedule.

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