Tribunal upholds The election Of Governor Ortom
The tribunal gave the verdict on Monday after a panel dismissed the petition of the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Emmanuel Jime, for lacking in merit.
Jime in his petition further alleged that the Governor was not duly elected by lawful votes, maintaining that he (Jime) scored the highest number of valid votes and as such, should be declared winner of the election or in the alternative, order be made for a fresh election.
During the hearing of the petition, Jime called 59 witnesses, Ortom called only one while the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC did not call any witness.
In a nine-hour judgement delivered by Chairman of the Tribunal Justice Henry Olusiyi, he held that the Petitioner’s witness statements were contradictory, unreliable and not credible.
The judge added that their statements were incompetent frowning at their inability to identify documents and link them to the case which amounts to dumping the materials on the tribunal.
Justice Olusiyi also held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegation of over voting, noting voters’ register and not the smart card reader remains the valid method to ascertain the number of registered voters in an elegant.
“Card reader can only be alternative and admissible if the National Assembly amends the Electoral Act to provide for it.
Witnesses failed to prove allegation of over voting to warrant the cancellation of votes in polling units.
“We find no merit whatsoever in the petition. We hold that the election of Governor Samuel Ortom by INEC is affirmed,” Justice Olusiyi said in the judgment.