By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Cross River State, sitting on Suit No.EPT/CA/SEN/01/2019 between Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba as petitioner versus Dr. Sandy Onor, Peoples’ Democratic Party(PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) as Respondents, has admitted in evidence video clips and media publications.
Chairman of the 3man tribunal,Justice Vincent Agbata while admitting video clips and media publication evidence, reminded counsels to the three respondents in the suite that the supposed witnesses were subpoenaed by the tribunal to produce the materials but because they are not allowed as additional witnesses for the petitioners, they will not be cross-examined.
In the said press briefing, the REC of INEC in Cross River had read a memo from the national headquarters of INEC, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Rose Orianran-Anthony.
The memo expressly cited a Federal High Court Order in suite number FHC/CA/CS/731/2018 and informed the state Electoral Commissioner that “the Commission pursuant to Order of court in above matter, has directed that the names of candidates submitted by APC for Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly be removed from the list of candidates for the election in compliance with the said order”.
The delisted candidates were only re-listed by INEC on March 8th, 2019.
Speaking to newsmen after the court session, lead counsel to the petitioner Emeka Ofodile SAN disclosed that the crux of the petitioner’s case was the unlawful exclusion by INEC, preventing his client Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba from participating in the election of February 23rd, 2019 after having been duly nominated by his party, the All Progressive Congress.
He said his client is seeking the court to cancel the Senatorial Elections of Cross River Central Senatorial district wherein, the PDP candidate Dr. Sandy Onor was declared a winner by INEC and order a re-run.
Ofodile SAN further disclosed that he has finished presenting the petitioner’s case with his witnesses and that the case was adjourned by the tribunal to July 2, 2019, for the Respondents to open their case.