Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s defence at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba suffered a setback yesterday as the tribunal rejected documents the governor sought to tender through a witness, he subpoenaed from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Asaba.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, are contesting the declaration of Okowa as winner of the April 11 governorship election.
At the resumed hearing of the petition yesterday, Okowa’s counsel, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), sought to tender a certified true copy (CTC) of card reader data, CTC of unit accreditation report of the governorship poll, notification of APC December 2, 2014 governorship primary and INEC report on APC December 4 congress through Mrs. Ehikhametalo Mercy, a member of staff at the Delta State office of INEC. Emerhor’s counsel, Chief Thomson Onomigbo-Okpoko (SAN), however, objected to the admissibility of the CTC of the card reader data and the CTC of the unit accreditation report.
He insisted that there was no evidence before the tribunal to show that the witness produced the computer-generated documents in line with section 84(2) of the Evidence Act. Iziyon, however, urged the tribunal to admit the documents.
Ruling, the tribunal upheld the objection and rejected the documents.
“We have no doubt in our minds that what she (witness) seeks to tender were documents uploaded from the card reader severs, but there is no indication anywhere showing that the documents the witness seeks to tender were data generated by computer and she now used computer to type it… “We believe that the objections of Okpoko (SAN) to the admissibility of these documents are germane … There is nothing on the face of the documents to show that they complied with section 84 of the Evidence Act. In view of this, we hereby agree that the documents are not admissible and are hereby rejected”.