A floundering professor of law, on Thursday, mounted the witness dock at the Edo election tribunal to testify against the credibility of the September 2016 elections. He however succeeded only in making quite a mess of his testimony.
Professor Edoba Omoregie, who should have been more difficult to cross-examine because of his erudition, chose to feign ignorance about virtually everything, including his appearance in court on behalf of the petitioners. He also testified that he would not know if he was accredited before he voted during the election.
Meanwhile, the Professor of Law at University of Benin (UNIBEN) strengthened the respondents’ case when he revealed under cross-examination that his party had agents in all the polling units in ward 9, and none of them reported any anomaly to him as the ward collation agent of the PDP.
His testimony, rife with comedy and drama earned him some caution from the Chairman of the Tribunal, His Lordship A.T. Badamasi, who asked him to listen properly to the defendants’ Counsel and proffer answers to his questions.
Edoba had initially denied appearing as a Counsel for the petitioner at the tribunal. He soon recanted his earlier claim when it became clear to him that he was announced to have appeared in Court for the petitioner, specifically on January 16th, 2017.
“I can’t remember”, Edoba reacted immediately. “I cannot remember my name was ever announced in Court because there were several proceedings this year but last year, I was announced a couple of times for the petitioners.”
The remorseless professor Edoba also in one breath denied ever mentioning over-voting in his witness deposition statement, which he adopted, but when it was put to him by the Counsel to the defendants, he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about”.
Upon being shown his own deposition he alleged ‘over-voting’, he thundered and denied vehemently saying, “I don’t know what you are talking about”.
However, he soon owned-up. He said, “That’s not what I said. I did not say that I do not know what you are talking about – I said I needed to read my deposition statement first”.
Further arguing, the law professor claimed that while he never mentioning over-voting in his witness statement, his analysis and table in his deposition statement suggested that there was over-voting, adding that he would not know if he was accredited before casting his vote.
He soon received more chastisement from the Counsel to the third defendant, L.O. Fagbemi, who would not allow the flailing Edoba go freely without a word.
He mentioned on a lighter note that some of his students in court were shocked at his ill-conceived outing and that should Professor teach a particular topic in two different classes, he was likely to have different marking schemes for both classes.