The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi has adjourned the petition challenging the election of Sen. David Mark (PDP-Benue South) to July 28 due to absence of witnesses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Daniel Onjeh of APC had challenged the election of Mark in the March 28 polls.
The tribunal had on July 15, subpoenaed two witnesses from INEC to testify at the commencement of the trial on Monday.
When the petition case came up for hearing on Monday, Onjeh’s Counsel, Mr Tunji Oso, called seven witnesses, and applied for an adjournment to enable him field the subpoenaed witnesses.
Oso decried the frosty relationship with INEC, and expressed regrets that witnesses from the commission declined appearances despite substantial notices on them.
He complained that electoral cases were time bound and wondered why INEC was dragging the matter by not showing up in the court.
He appealed to the tribunal to compel the subpoenaed witnesses to appear and testify at the next sitting because the petitioner could not continue fielding witnesses without the testimonies of the INEC witnesses.
NAN reports that the two subpoenaed witnesses were two Directors of the commission, one from its headquarters in charge of Card Readers Information and another from Benue.
The tribunal Chairman, Justice Mosumola Dipeolu, therefore, urged INEC Counsel, Mr Lawal Tengi, to assist the tribunal in bringing the witnesses.
Tengi pledged to ensure the presence of the witnesses in court on Tuesday.