A witness of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Femi Obalemo on Thursday admitted before the election petition tribunal that he was not in Nigeria when the election materials used for the November 16/30 Kogi West rerun election was inspected by the petitioner, PDP.
The witness admission run contrary to his statement of oath which he signed to have participated in the process and had further done an analysis of the report.
At the last sitting, respondents counsels has objected to the admissibility as evidence the reports of the inspection of election materials by the Petitioner’s because it was filled outside the stipulated time by law and did not followed the laid down procedures.
Obalemo, a senior pastor with Christ Embassy who was amongst the 71 witnesses listed by the PDP candidate, Dino Melaye when cross examined confessed that he was not even in the country when the exercise was taken place.
“Pastor, you said you were permitted to analyze and inspect result?
Obalemo: “I am permitted to inspect only”
“You lied before the Tribunal this morning that you participated in inspection?”
Obalemo: “No I didn’t lie”
“Did you believed in this reports of exhibit 40?”
Obalemo: “Yes I believed in it”
“I will be correct to say that paragraph 4 of the inspection report state the name of the inspection committee and your name is not there?”
Obalemo: “Yes, it’s not there”
“In paragraph 3 of this reports, the people who authored it signed it. Where is your name?”
Obalemo: “I was not in the country then”
The witness also failed to identified himself as PDP collation officer, said the tag he was issued for the assignment was meant only for the election and not for the tribunal.
The witness who admitted that the petitioner (Dino Melaye) was his principal, said he was at 59 polling units across some wards in the Senatorial district on election day.
Obalemo said his statement of oath adopted before the tribunal were all the information he gathered from his agents, stressing that he has no expertise in analyzing electoral documents.
Obalemo however said election result were not declared by the electoral umpire, said what INEC did was just to announced Senator Smart Adeyemi as winner of the poll.
Counsel to the Petitioner’s, Prof. Adewale subsequently closed his case, while Counsel to INEC, Barr. Chris asked for 5 days adjournment due to covid19 lockdown, for him to reach out to his witnesses and review the evidences of the petitioner.
The tribunal granted his prayer and adjourned to April 28, for the 1st Respondents to open his case.