More astonishing revelations have been made at the Edo election tribunal as a self-proclaimed clergyman was discovered to have registered twice with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Both registrations were uncovered as the voters’ register was examined at the resumed hearing of the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin on Wednesday.
‘Clergyman’ Bright Osaro Osarumwen, who was principal witness 29 for the petitioners (Peoples’ Democratic Party and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu) against the September 28, 2016 gubernatorial election, initially admitted to reading his witness statement before filing same and denied ever registering twice as a voter.
Besides being a clergyman and a businessperson, as Osarumwen from Aduwawa quarters, Ikpoba-Okha local government area deposited to in his affidavit, he was found to have registered as a public servant on one occasion, and as a businessperson in another occasion during cross-examination by counsels to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“I did not register at all and I did not vote”, he stressed when he realised that the discrepancies in his testimony were about to be exposed.
However, when confronted with a copy of the voters’ register to identify if both photographs attributed to what should have been two different voters were carrying his image – he had registered twice and on two different occasions as a public servant and a businessman – he owned up saying, “Yes, I did”.
In another breath, he again denied saying, “No, it was a typographical error”.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the respondents pressed PW 29 went further and discovered the witness was not just a clergyman, a businessperson, a public servant, but also a registered nurse.
He then went on to refute his earlier grievances at the Edo election saying, “I agree accreditation and voting went smoothly. I am a Registered Nurse (RN)”.