By POEM Analysis
TALKING of legal fireworks, that which was witnessed in the courtroom during the Obi vs Tinubu session at the Abuja Appeal Court venue of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Friday, June 9 must have been the fiercest so far.
Recall that the witness, Lucky Obewo Isawode, recorded as PW3 and a senior member of the broadcasting department of Channels Television (Senior Reporter/Editor), was prevented from making use of the large screen television brought to court by HE Peter Obi and Labour Party on the first day he stepped feet into the witness box.
While the courtroom waited in visible anticipation to view the evidence that attracted the extra mile of ‘importing’ the screens, the Respondents’ team of INEC (first Respondent), Tinubu (second Respondent), Shettima (third Respondent) and APC (fourth Respondent) characteristically combined to deny the waiting court the satisfaction of their curiosity.
Peter Obi (right) has his eyes on Tinubu, INEC
But it was just a matter of 24 hours. Despite their obstinacy, the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led Tribunal permitted the witness to playback the evidence in his flashdrive on Saturday June 10, as all that the Respondents achieved was wasting the court’s time and ‘gaining’ 24 hours.
The playback showed very clear images of Prof Mahmood Yakubu on screen addressing the expanded INEC Executive in a meeting before the February 25 Elections. “Said he,” _there is no going back on the issue of BVAS machines and on real time transmission of results from the polling booths to the INEC Server.”
Next item on same playback showed HE Bola Ahmed Tinubu on a visit to former President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura to announce HE Kashim Shettima as his running mate. That date was clearly shown on screen and the importance of that evidence was not lost on anyone in court.
When the court was done with watching the video, PW3 waited for the cross-examination. Surprisingly, INEC had no questions while Tinubu/Shettima and APC seemed interested in knowing whether the cameraman, who recorded the video as well as INEC chairman and image maker were still alive.
After this, the witness stepped down and the Petitioners returned to tendering CTC of INEC documents used in the very contentious election.
Basically, the witness showed where Prof Yakubu re-affirmed use of electronic transmission for the election as well as the fact surrounding Shettima’s double nomination. It is left for the Tribunal to evaluate and deliver appropriate justice.
…POEM is Peter Obi media express media, support group Obi/Datti Campaign