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Presidential tribunal: Iwu, a liar, says Atiku

Posted by By GODWIN TSA, Abuja on 2008/02/02 | Views: 438 |

Presidential tribunal: Iwu, a liar, says Atiku


Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is praying the presidential election tribunal to throw out the answers provided by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC], Professor Maurice Iwu to his interrogatories on the grounds that they are of no probative value and evasive in nature.

• Wants his response dismissed as perjury

Former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is praying the presidential election tribunal to throw out the answers provided by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC], Professor Maurice Iwu to his interrogatories on the grounds that they are of no probative value and evasive in nature.

He told President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua and the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to stop claiming victory at the presidential elections as the Chairman of the INEC has failed to defend the proper or valid conduct of the election in his answers to the interrogatories.

According to him: “The sudden change of story by the 5th Respondent (Iwu) as to where the ballot papers were printed is a feeble attempt to becloud the existence of ballot papers printed by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company as one of the ballot papers used for the elections. Atiku was responding to the answers provided by Iwu to the interrogatories thrown to him at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

In his address filed by his counsel, Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN), Atiku accused the INEC Chairman of making a total u-turn by stating that the ballot papers used in the presidential election in 2007 were printed in Nigeria, by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company.
According to Nwabueze, “this statement is clearly at variance with his pleadings before this court and a statement in Exhibit EPT/03/P/36(29). He also said that Iwu has refused to answer all the other questions relating to the instructions given to the printers and also to the quantities of the ballot papers he ordered and the date of the receipt of these ballot papers.

Nwabueze said: “First the 5th Respondent has made a total u-turn by stating that the ballot papers used in the presidential election 2007 were printed in Nigeria, by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company. This statement is clearly at variance with his pleadings before this court and a statement in Exhibit EPT/03/P/36(29)
“The 5th Respondent has refused to answer all the other questions relating to the instructions given to the printers and also to the quantities of the ballot papers he ordered and the date of the receipt of these ballot papers.

“If indeed it is true, which is denied that the ballot papers were ordered from the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, is the 5th Respondent not obliged to answer these questions in relation to the order which he admitted was made from the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company.
“One interesting thing about the answer to the interrogatories in respect to questions 1 to 11 is in relation to the two orders said to have been made by INEC from the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company for the printing of ballot papers for the election of the 21st April 2007.

“The 5th Respondent however failed to mention in his affidavit that this order was not supplied until the 1st of June 2007 and so could not have been used in any of the elections held in April 2007. Exhibit EPT/03/P/32(18) already tendered before this court is proof of this fact.
No attempt was made by the 5th Respondent in his answer to the interrogatories as to when the ballot papers ordered on the 17th April 2007 were delivered by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company.

“Not only were the answers given by the 5th Respondent to this interrogatories in respect of questions 1 to 11 false and evasive, the only conclusion one could reach is that the 5th Respondent is making a calculated attempt to mislead or deceive the court, first as to whether one or two sets of ballot papers were used for the elections (ballot papers from South Africa and or from Nigeria) He has also tried to conceal the fact that these ballot papers were not promptly delivered for onward delivery to all the States and Local Government Areas in the federation, thus having the effect of leading to the various complaints of non-compliance alleged by the petitioners in paragraphs 17 and 18 of the Petition.”
He said the failure of the 5th Respondent (Iwu) to disclose the quantity of the ballot papers delivered to each State and Local Governments Areas when documentary evidence (EC40) are available but were not tendered clearly suggest that the 5th Respondent has a lot to hide by not making full disclosure on these issues.

While urging the tribunal to invoke the provisions of Section 149(d) of the Evidence Act, Atiku contended that the presentation of an undated list of nominated candidates said to have been published by the 5th Respondent to the general public after April 16 2007 ought to be construed against the 5th Respondent that no such list existed.

He argued that: “The sudden change of story by the 5th Respondent as to where the ballot papers were printed is a feeble attempt to becloud the existence of ballot papers printed by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company as one of the ballot papers used for the elections.
We therefore submit, that your lordships are entitled to treat, the case of 4th-808th respondents unproved. The evidence expected of them to sustain the election ought to be credible evidence worthy of belief. We submit that for evidence to be worthy of credit, it must not only proceed from a credible source but must be credible in itself, in the sense that it should be so natural, reasonable and probable in view of the transaction, which it describes or to which it relates as to make it easy to believe.

“Finally, it is submitted most respectfully, that, the consequence of concession by 5th respondent’s counsel that he provided evidence of no probative value, is that, 5th respondent has failed to answer the questions posed to him truthfully. His defense to the petition is therefore liable to be dismissed; ditto for the defense of his subordinates who participated in the conduct of the elections, that is 7th- 808th Respondents.

“It is thus submitted that since the reply of 4th -808th Respondents expressly pleaded that the ballot papers were printed in South Africa, failure of 5th respondent to provide the answers in respect of the printing in South Africa, amounts to a flagrant and contemptuous disobedience to the order of the Supreme court that he must answer the questions.

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