David Mark’s witnesses refuse to testify at Tribunal, abscond


Three out of eight witnesses called by David Mark in defense of the petition against him by Daniel Onjeh of the APC at the National Assembly Elections Tribunal, absconded without testifying.

Mr Daniel Onjeh of the APC has dragged the former Senate president to the tribunal on the grounds that he was wrongly declared winner of the Benue South Senatorial election.
Onjeh has also alleged electoral malpractices and substantial
infringement of the Electoral Act and is therefore, praying the court to nullify the elections and order for fresh polls.

Counsel to David Mark, Kenneth Ikonne, on Monday told the court that he had eight witnesses to call for the day to strengthen his defense against the petition filed by Onjeh.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who covered the proceedings in court, reports that Ikonne called five witnesses while the remaining three, who were in court earlier, simply disappeared.

NAN reports that the five witnesses, who testified that the conduct of the Benue South Senatorial election was free and fair, were all ward collation agents for the PDP.
However, under cross-examination by petitioner’s counsel, Mr Tunji Oso, one of the witnesses, who claimed that all accredited voters had their names ticked on the voters register, admitted that no name was ticked in the register.

Another witness also admitted under cross examination that there was mutilation and alteration of exhibits, especially form EC 8A which was the result sheet.

Following the disappearance of the remaining witnesses for the day, Ikonne, prayed the court to grant him more time to persuade the witnesses appear in court.

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Although, Ikonne said he was unfamiliar with the political terrain in the state, he still smelt a rat.

He regretted that he was losing some of his witnesses to the APC, disclosing that one of the absentee witnesses actually told him that he had defected to the APC.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Mosumola Dipeolu adjourned the matter to Aug 13, for continuation of defense.

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