The Chairman of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice J.A Orjiako has cautioned Mr Dolapo Tella-Attoni, counsel for Action Democratic Party, ADP, and its gubernatorial candidate during the March 9, 2019 election, Victor Fingesi, on his conduct while representing his clients in the court.
Justice Orjiako who stated this after the three respondent counsels in the petition filed by the ADP against Independent National Electoral Commission, Peoples Democratic Party and Governor Nyesom Wike, urged the court to caution the ADP counsel on his confrontational attitude during cross examination of witnesses in the court.
Justice Orjiako, stated that the court on its own would have awarded Mr Tella-Attoni a cost, but cautioned that he be guided by his conduct.
He said: “Ordinarily we would have awarded cost to the petitioner as requested by the 2nd respondent for his confrontational and disrespectful attitude in the representation in his client’s case before the tribunal but we will not. He should be guided.”
Meanwhile, PDP agent in Oyigbo Local Government Area, Dr Jackson Nweke has told the tribunal that the 2019 governorship election in the area was free, fair and peaceful.
Responding to questions from the PDP counsel, Musa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Nweke, testified that there was no violence in the area during the election.
He noted that he did not sign the LGA results because his party lost in the area to another political party. He added that collation of result at the LGA collation centre was done in his presence, with no report if hijack of electoral materials.
“We have 10 wards, 109 polling units in Oyigbo Local Government Area. Election was conducted in all the polling units and wards in the LGA. The Governorship election conducted in Oyigbo on March 9, 2019 was peaceful and orderly.
“We have our party (PDP) agents in all the polling units and wards in Oyigbo. After the results were collated from all the wards, the result was announced at the LGA collation Area. Both the collation of the results at the wards and LGA were done in my presence.
“I did not witness any form violence or electoral malpractices at the Local Government collation centre. Non of our agents at the polling units or wards were arrested for election violence”.
Also responding to questions from the INEC counsel, Dr Garba Tetengi, (SAN), the PDP agent said “INEC officials were not only present at the election areas but conducted the election peacefully in accordance with the INEC electoral guidelines.
“INEC official did not doctor the result in forms EC8A and EC8B and EC8C (voting materials) in favour of any party”.
Another PDP agent for Andoni LGA, Samuel Gilbert who testified at the tribunal, noted that election was peaceful in the area.
He also said there was no violence witnessed in Andoni during the March 9, 2019 Governorship election, noting that “the election was free and fair”.
Meanwhile, the tribunal led by Justice J. A Orjiako has adjourned sitting Thursday August 1, 2019 for continuation of cross examination of the 2nd respondent witnesses.