….Says Witness Cannot be Cross Examined on Documents neither made nor tendered by him
Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, the National Legal Advisor of the Peoples Democratic Party and the state Collation Agent of the party in the state for the Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the Governorhip and State House Assembly Elections, held on the February 23, 2019 and March 9, 2019 took the stand today as the first witness of the 1st Respondent, Mr Udom Emmanuel as he opened his case today, July 31, 2019 at the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital.
In his Examination-in-Chief, Chief Assam Assam, SAN led the witness to adopt his deposition and further tendered all Unit Results (Form EC8A) and Local Government Results (Form EC8B) through the witness, including the CTC of the receipt of payment to INEC in application for the forms tendered.
Under Cross Examination by Uko, SAN, for the 2nd Respondent, (the PDP), the witness affirmed his evidence in chief and stated the role he played as the state Collation Agent of the PDP.
Answering questions from the 3rd Respondent’s (INEC) Counsel, Sylva, SAN the witness affirmed that he was at the INEC office at the state and participated in the process of the collation of the results from all the Local Government Areas in the state. He stated that he took part in the Collation in concert with over fifty other political party agents, including Ambassador Sam Akpan who was the state Collation Agent of the APC in the state.
The court room however experienced an admixture of excitement and disquiet when the Petitioner’s Lawyer, Ojukwu, SAN attempted to force the witness to testify on documents he neither made nor tendered and also to simply return a “Yes answer” where the witness had explanations to make in further answer to some of the questions put to him. Enoidem, Esq who is a lawyer could not be cowed nor battered down by Ojukwu, SAN.
Efforts made by Ojukwu, SAN to cross examine the witness on voter registers which though in court were neither made by the witness nor tendered by or through him was futile. Such effort met the stiff opposition of Assam Assam, SAN who objected to such questions being put to the witness. The court upheld the argument of Assam Assam , SAN and held that… “the witness could not be cross examined on documents neither made nor tendered by him”.
The 1st Respondent indicated that there had no re-examination for the witness. The case was consequently adjourned to August 1, 2019 for the continuation of the Respondents’ Case.