Drama, contradictions as INEC’s witness flounders at Rivers State Election Petitions Tribunal


Mr. Ebikoru Tebekaemi, Independent National Electoral Commission’s Electoral Officer for Obio/Akpor Local Government Area brought a mild drama to proceedings at the Rivers State Elections Petitions Tribunal today when he told the court that he was not aware if card readers were used for the April 11 governorship election.

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Tebekaemi whose testimony was characterised by inconsistencies and doublespeak added that election did not hold in Wards 12 and 13, representing Rumuigbo and Rumuokwuta respectively, yet he adjudged the highly contentious election free and fair.
The witnessed stirred the court further when Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, lawyer to the petitioner drew his attention to the uncomplimentary report of the Elections Operation Support Centre, a body set up by INEC to monitor elections. Olujimi’s emphasis on the centres’ unflattering report further jolted the INEC electoral officer who reversed himself, adding that the centre actually functioned partially.

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One thing that was not lost on the people in court today is that the first respondent, with just only a witness in a full day, is not in any hurry to defend their position.
Olujimi corroborated this view shortly after the tribunal’s adjournment.
“INEC opened their defence today. We had expected that they would bring witnesses to justify the election they conducted. But after questioning the E.O. from Obio/Akpor, they saw the signal and didn’t want to call any more witnesses”.


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