Umana closes case, as tribunal admits ballot papers in evidence

Umana Okon Umana

Umana Okon Umana, APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State

Umana Okon Umana: challenging Governor Emmanuel Udom's victory at the tribunal
Umana Okon Umana: challenging Governor Emmanuel Udom’s victory at the tribunal

The legal battle to challenge the emergence of Udom Emmanuel as the governor of Akwa Ibom state reached a crucial stage on Friday when the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Umana, closed his case at the tribunal.

Umana had approached the court challenging conduct of the April election and declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner of the poll.

At the resumption of hearing, the tribunal also admitted in evidence two truck loads of ballot papers used in the election.

The tribunal also delivered ruling on whether to allow the forensic expert to demonstrate how they arrived at their report which showed non-human and multiple prints on the ballot papers.

One of the witnesses, who testified on Thursday, was recalled to take the stand to demonstrate to the tribunal how the exercise was carried out.

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On whether he was responsible for the conduct of the forensic search as contained in their joint report, the witness said he was personally involved in the forensic exercise and therefore responsible ‎for the conduct.

When asked whether they were able to determine the finger prints of those who voted for the A‎PC, the witness said their only concern was to cross match the finger prints on INEC data base without knowing to whom it belongs.

After that, counsel to the pet‎itioner, Dayo Akinlaja, drew the attention of the tribunal to the fact that an INEC staff, Obinna Aliyu was present with documents vital to case.

The tribunal then ordered it’s registry and INEC to jointly take inventory of the number and type of document produced.

Following the closure of the case by the petitioner, the tribunal adjourned to September 2, when the respondents are expected to open their defence.

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