Rivers Election Petition Tribunal dismisses warrant for arrest of INEC staff


Tina Amanda

The Gubernatorial election petition Tribunal in Port Harcourt has dismissed the application filed by the counsel representing Action Democratic Party, ADP, and its Governorship candidate, Victor Fingesi, for issuance of a bench warrant on Festus Okoye, Head of INEC Information Monitoring Team.

DOLAPO TELLA-ATTONI Counsel to ADP had filed an application seeking for a bench warrant on Festus Okoye, for failure to appear before the tribunal and present a document.

Arguing before the three-man panel led by Justice K.A OJIAKO, Counsel to INEC, DR GARBA TETENGI, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the tribunal that Festus Okoye has not been personally served the summons.

Justice KA OJIAKO in his ruling dismissed the bench warrant application on two grounds that there is no proof of service indicating the witness was personally served subpoena, and that money for the witness expenses has not been paid by the petitioner.

Witnessing before the tribunal, Nna Good-Friday who claimed to have worked as ADP ward collation agent in ward 3, Elele in Ikwerre local government area, told the tribunal that election did not hold in Ikwerre LGA, as electoral materials were carted away at the RAC centre by thugs.

On his part, Noble Kelechi witnessed that he worked as an ADP collation agent in ward 9 in Omuma local government area and that there was no election in his ward as electoral materials were hijacked.

GARBA TETENGI, Counsel to INEC disowned Noble Kelechi as INEC accredited ADP ward collation agent for Omumu, stressing that his name was not on the list, as the authentic person was Chukwuonye Woke.

Noble Kelechi told the tribunal that he was substituted a week before the election, by his party.

Our reporter Tina Amanda reports that the tribunal adjourned to tomorrow for the continuation of trials.