The Delta State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has rejected the bid of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Peoples Democratic Party to stop the admission of the analysis of result sheets by the tribunal in the April 11 governorship poll.
The document contained the analysis of the card reader-accredited voters and the election result sheets, on which the petitioner, Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor of the All Progressives Congress, is relying on to prove his allegation of over voting in the poll.
Emerhor and the APC are challenging the declaration of Okowa by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the April governorship election in Delta State.
The analysis, done in nine columns by the petitioners’ witness, Mr. Ore Ohimor, contained data reportedly derived from already admitted unit-by-unit card reader accreditation report and the unit-by-unit voters result sheets as declared by INEC.
Okowa, through his counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, had sought to stop the admission of the document, arguing that it was not frontloaded in the petition.
He said at the continuation of the defence on Monday in Asaba that the analysis was also not accompanied by proper certification as required by law for a document prepared by a computer, adding that it failed to meet the requirement of Section 84 sub-section 2 of the Evidence Act.
PDP’s lawyer, Timothy Kehinde, aligned with the argument of Izinyon, stating that the document was prepared during the course of the hearing, making it inadmissible since the document was not frontloaded in the petition.
Mr. Thompson Okpoko, counsel for the petitioners, argued that the comparative analysis was already pleaded in 16 of the petition while paragraphs seven and eight of the witness statement under oath also clearly pleaded same.
Okpoko explained that the witness only used the computer to prepare the analysis of the results, relying on his own intellectual capacity and not that of the computer to generate the analysis.
The Justice Nasiru Gunmi-led tribunal in its ruling, agreed with the petitioners, stating that all documents prepared during a hearing that pertained to the petition in question, were admissible.
It added that the fact a computer was used to prepare the comparative analysis did not mean that the figures were generated by the computer.
The tribunal also noted that most documents, if not all, used during the course of the hearing so far, were prepared by a computer, stating that there was no reason why this analysis should be treated differently.
The tribunal finally admitted and named the comparative analysis/summary of results as exhibit P34.
Further hearing in the petition has been adjourned to Monday.