C’River Governorship Election  Tribunal reserves Judgement 

By Ene Asuquo 

Cross River Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Calabar has reserved judgment in the Petition filled by the candidate of People’s Democratic party (PDP) in the last election, Sen Sandy Onor seeking to nullify the election of Governor Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the adoption of written addresses by all the parties in the matter 

In his submission, counsel to the second and third respondents, chief Mike Ozakhome SAN said the petitioners had withdrawn grounds two and three of their petitions which bothered on discrepancies, non accreditation, non- transmission through BVAS and all other alleged malpractices which he said were funny and untrue allegations

According to Ozakhome,”they petitioners never had any case, we have been wasting our time”

He maintained that their case was predicated on the allegation that the second respondent, Governor Bassey Otu had certificate issues which they could not prove as they did not present any evidence to back their allegation. He also added that all the cases had been litigated before which the Governor and the Deputy Governor won in all 

In the case of the Deputy Governor, Ozakhome said the petitioners could still not prove to the court that he (Peter Odey) swore to any oath of allegiance as they could not produce any documents to prove their case

Lead counsel to the second and third respondents, Mike Ozakhome SAN in his prayers urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being frivolous, lacks merit and constitute abuse of court process 

Addressing the court,  Jonah Musa SAN counsel to the petitioners, Sen. Sandy Onor and the People’s Democratic Party said evidences extracted under cross examination of the respondents goes to fortify the case of their petition.

Musa said it also confirmed the falsity of the evidence presented by the second and third  respondents Gov. Otu and Mr Peter Odey, his Deputy.

He  said their case was not an allegations of forgery against any of the respondents but that the second and third respondent lied on oath adding that

witnesses from institutions invited to prove the authenticity of certificates are non-sequitor

He insisted that the second and third respondents brought documents to show that they forged documents.

“In the process of trying to say they did not lie on oath, they opened a Pandoras box where we saw the discrepancies.

“I urge the tribunal to declare the votes of the second and third respondents wasted because they were not qualified to stand for the election and declare the petitioners winner of the elections,” he stated

Similarly, counsel to the first respondents (INEC) K. O. Balogun urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition while  adopting Ozekhome’s submission in respect of the qualification of the second and third respondent.

After listening to the final arguments of the parties, Justice Oken Inneh thanked the litigants for the efforts they put in the case.

She adjourned the sitting declaring that the date of judgment would be communicated to all the parties subsequently.