Says, “I am the petitioner”
A witness testifying for the petitioners – People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu – in the ongoing Edo Election Tribunal, Comrade Braimah Gabriel Ohiomah has provided discrepant testimonies from his witness statement and those contained in the certified true copies of documents he adopted to pursue his case at a sitting, which held on Monday.
This was as he was being cross-examined by counsel to the respondents – Independent National electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki – during the tribunal sitting at the premises of the High Court of Justice in Benin City.
Comrade Ohiomah from Owan East Local Government area was ward collation agent for PDP in ward 4 of the same local government area. He had earlier claimed that he arrived at his conclusion that the election was marred by over-voting and multiple voting by examining the voters register.
When the witness was however asked if he counted the number of accredited voters as against the number of people who voted, he replied, “In most cases, no”.
While he testified that he casted his own vote in unit six, ward 4, he also affirmed that accreditation and voting were done simultaneously.
Things however took a more revelatory turn when his witness statement was revealed to have indicated that in paragraph 8 (j) of his deposition statement he had allocated 124 votes to the APC and when shown the result sheet – exhibit PO 93 (11) – the unit result, the vote for APC was 140 while PDP scored 93 but in his written statement, he allocated PDP 118.
This was in sharp contradiction to the figures contained in the election result sheet, which he signed as the ward collation agent for PDP, and which indicated that APC had 140 votes, while PDP had 93 votes.
Further interrogation made him confess that his source of information for determining multiple voting was the unit agents stationed at each unit as well as the voters register.
This prompted the respondent’s counsel to suggest to him that he did not make the statement, to which he replied, “I am the maker. I am the petitioner”.
Further examination of both his statement and the petition submitted by PDP and Pastor Ize-Iyamu uncovered verbatim accounts, which also prompted the witness to attribute to himself the title of the petitioner.