Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State today closed his case in the suit instituted by Emmanuel Jime and the All Progressives Congress, APC, challenging his re-election.
When the case resumed today, counsel to the governor, Sebastine Hon, SAN, told the court that Ortom had decided to close his case after taking a look at the evidence of the petitioners.
“After taking a critical look at the evidence provided by the petitioners, we have come to the inevitable conclusion that we will not be calling any further witnesses.”
Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, who was next in line to open his case, asked the court to grant him Monday, August 19, 2019 to open his defence, adding that he will call only five witnesses.
There was no objection from any counsel to the parties in the suit. The tribunal chairman, Justice Henry Olusiyi, thereafter adjourned the matter to Monday, August 19, 2019.
Speaking to journalists after the sitting, Ortom, who was at the tribunal in person, expressed confidence in the court to uphold justice as the 2019 governorship election in Benue State was free, fair and credible.
Also speaking to journalists on why he decided to call only one witness, counsel to Ortom, Sebastine, said the statement on oath of the petitioner himself and his star witness for the whole state, Joe Abaagu, were not signed, and substantial justice was done during cross examination of the petitioners’ witnesses.
He added that under Nigerian laws, the burden of proof rests on the petitioners.