Wednesday, 5 August 2015


The Benue State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Tuesday admitted as evidence The Sun Newspaper’s report and a recording of Channels Television as pleaded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Prince Terhemen Tarzoor.

This follows the admission by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not conduct governorship primaries in the state.

The electoral body made this known in its report on the APC primaries tendered  before the tribunal through a subpoena by the petitioner and PDP governorship candidate.

Counsel to Tarzoor, Mrs. Joy Adesina (SAN), citing relevant authorities, contended that the admissibility of a document was important to the relevance to a matter.

She was challenged by counsel to Ortom who continuously blocked the motion.
The tribunal however admitted all the materials as evidence in the case.
Earlier, INEC had testified that the APC did not conduct a primary in Benue State.

The Establishment Officer, Andyar Terkaa, who read out the content of the report before Tribunal, said, at the time of the report, the APC did not conduct its governorship primaries on the slated date of December 5, 2014.

During cross-examination, the INEC official further stated: “I was not aware of the conduct of the APC primaries on the said date in Benue State.

The tribunal had in a ruling admitted in evidence the time table and schedule of the 2015 general election, the reports of the PDP and APC governorship election primaries monitoring teams.

In that ruling read by Justice Katharine Ogunsanya, the tribunal held that the weight and relevance of a document determines its admissibility, hence “ the two documents have passed the litmus test, the plea is upheld and the documents are admitted in evidence.”

Counsel to Governor Samuel Ortom, Chief Olaniyi Akintola (SAN) had objected to the tendering of the APC and PDP reports before the court on the grounds that its admissibility was governed by three principles which were that “it must be relevant to the matter, it must be pleaded and it must be admissible in law.

“This principle is so strict that failure in one of them amounts to failure of all of them,” Akintola said.

However, Adesina citing relevant authorities contended that the admissibility of a document lied in its relevance to a matter.

She noted that it would amount to a miscarriage of justice if the documents were rejected, warning that the reliance on technicalities in the determination of any issue would negate the principles of substantive justice for all.

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