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INEC fails to open defence at Edo elections tribunal sitting

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Tuesday failed to open its defense at the Edo elections tribunal sitting in Benin City as it applied for more time to contact and interact with its witnesses.

The commission’s counsel, Onyinye Anumonye who applied for adjournment till Friday this week due to what he called, logistics, told the tribunal that most of the witnesses could not be reached before Tuesday’s sitting.

“Most of the times INEC staff are not stationed in Edo state but are members of the National Youth Service Corp scheme who have passed out of Edo state…From text messages sent to them, they were unable to make it.”

He said besides the former NYSC members, the many civil savants who were also involved in the elections and are its witnesses cannot be pulled out of their duty posts even at short notice.

Counsel to the PDP Adebayo Adelodun, SAN however opposed the commission’s application for adjournment on the basis of logistics and said it can only succeed if it gives cogent and credible reasons to the tribunal.

With the counsels to both Mr Godwin Obaseki and the All Peoples Congress, APC not opposed to the INEC application, Justice Ahmed Badamasi in his capacity as chairman of the three member tribunal granted the application and adjourned sitting till Friday February 17 2017.

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