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LP to call 36 witnesses to testify against Mbah over alleged certificate forgery

The Labour Party in Enugu State says it will call 36 witnesses to testify against Mr Peter Mbah of the People Democratic Party (PDP) at the Governorship Election Tribunal over alleged certificate forgery.


The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is hearing the petition filed by Edeoga of the Labour Party against Peter Mbah of the PDP.


Edoga is praying the tribunal to disqualify Mba over the alleged NYSC certificate forgery.


Speaking to the tribunal on Thursday in Enugu, Mr M. J. Numa, counsel to Mr Chijioke Edeoga said that they intended calling 28 witnesses in a whole within their control and eight subpoenaed witnesses.


Numa said that they would require a period of five weeks to call the witnesses and had agreed that the witnesses within their control would need 15 minutes for cross examination.


He added that they had taken care of the interpreter as they would schedule for the process prepared.


Responding, counsel to Mbah and the PDP, Mr Wole Olanikpekun and Mr Tochukwu Maduka respectively, on the ground that the FCT High Court had resolved the issue of alleged certificate forgery as there was a leave of appeal and that section 177 and 182 of the constitution had settled the matter.


Numa said that there was no record of any appeal on such subject matter, adding that the court could not speculate the existence of an appeal.


He said that the tribunal had the competent jurisdiction for the matter and pleaded the court indulgence to strike out the objection.


“177 and 182 of the constitution are mutually exclusive, 182 has elaboration than 177, so they are two separate provision that stand on their own. I, therefore invite your Lordship to decline those invitations,” he said.


The counsel to Mbah, Olanikpekun said that they would be calling 44 witnesses, adding that they required 25 days to call all their witnesses and 15 minutes for cross examination.


He said that the petition on the ground that the second respondent was not qualified due to alleged certificate forgery was not a petition before the tribunal, noting that the tribunal had no jurisdiction over the matter.


Also, counsel to the PDP, Maduka stressed that there was leave of application on the alleged certificate forgery.


He added that the tribunal was not to determine whether the FCT High Court has jurisdiction or not.


He said that the PDP intended to bring 54 witnesses which would include subpoenaed witnesses and forensic experts.


The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice K. M Akano, said that rulling on the alleged forgery would be delivered alongside the judgement.


The chairman however, adjourned the case to June 22 for continuation of hearing.


(National Accod)


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