An army officer, Captain Garba Sani, told the Rivers State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday that he never saw where election was conducted in Tai Local Government Area where he and his other men were deployed to maintain peace and order on April 11, 2015, the day the poll was scheduled to hold.
The Mohammed Ambrosa-led tribunal overruled the objection by Governor Nyesom Wike, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, before Sani was allowed to give his oral evidence on Wednesday.
Sani, a subpoenaed witness, who said he led 37 other soldiers on a patrol of the entire Tai, which is one of the 23 local government areas in Rivers State, said he appeared before the tribunal on the directive of army authorities.
The soldier, who is of the Bori Camp, Army Barracks in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, said he received the directive of the army authorities through the Directorate, Legal, of the Nigerian Army, after his unit received “a signal” about the subpoena served on the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The subpoena served on the Chief of Army Staff was obtained upon a request by the petitioners – the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the April 11 poll, Dr. Dakuku Peterside – who are challenging the declaration of Governor Wike as the winner of the election.
The soldier, led in evidence by the petitioners’ counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), said his team’s patrol started at about 6pm on April 10 into the night and up till the election day on April 11.