There was mild drama at the Edo State Election Tribunal sitting at the premises of Edo State High court in Benin City on Tuesday, as two People’s Democratic Party (PDP) witnesses were discovered to have given false information under oath.
This was as inconsistencies manifested in the reports of other witnesses during cross-examination by Counsels to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
One of the witnesses, Ekpomriri Henry from Okpekpe in Etsakor East, claimed that the total number of votes in Unit 6 did not tally with the number of accreditations in the same unit. However, while he only indicated that he was the PDP collation agent for Unit 2, he kept proffering information for Unit 10.
Upon further cross-examination by the respondents, he revealed he was also the collation agent for Unit 10 but chose to withhold that information ‘for security reasons’.
In addition, he refused to sign the collation result in his own ward because he claimed he was not satisfied with the way the election was conducted. This was even as he testified to having visited three other units where the collation agents all signed the collation result sheets.
Also citing security reasons as his excuse for providing false information was Imran Ighie Shuaib from Okugbe in Okpella, whose address and signature on the witness statement were markedly different from those he tendered in court.
When the respondent Counsels put these inconsistencies to him, he replied saying, “I put it back to you…” before he was interrupted.
Other witnesses put forward by the PDP petitioning team also alleged inconsistencies in the accreditation and voting numbers with some adding multiple voting and over voting to their grievances with the election.