Fourteen witnesses of the Peoples Democratic Party testifying at the Plateau State governorship Petition Tribunal have raised an alarm that they are being threatened not to testify.
The development was revealed by the lead Counsel to the petitioners, Mike Ozekhome (SAN).
Ozekhome claimed that some of the witnesses lined up by his team to testify have received threats to change their minds about testifying before the tribunal or face the consequences.
“My lords may not know this, but we are doing our best to cope with the new challenge”.
“But we assure you that we will use the fixed time allotted to us to conclude our case.”
Recall that the witnesses had claimed that the elections were rigged as results were altered in their various polling units to favour the governor of the state, Simon Lalong.
The witnesses from Jos East, Mangu, Bokkos and Shendam Local Government Areas, while testifying, affirmed their claims with exhibits already tendered before the Tribunal.
The witnesses revealed how the scored were tampered with after they had signed the result sheets.
They also told the tribunal that “Presiding Officers” and some security officials refused to take action on their complaints about over-voting.”
According to the witnesses, the total of votes scored and rejected votes exceeded the number of voters accredited for the elections in areas in contention.
In addition, witnesses have told the tribunal that the electoral umpire (INEC) took away original copies of the results for their areas, “because they knew what they did was wrong”, said Lalsa Bako of Shimankar in Shendam LGA.
This point was further stressed by lead counsel to the petitioners, Ozekhome, who said his team was really amused at the line of questioning by respondents’ Counsel.
“We are just laughing on this side at the kind of questions that respondents’ counsels are asking our witnesses.”
“How do they expect us to have in our possession original copies of INEC result sheets and registers of voters? Won’t they arrest us if they find these on us? He asked.”
“What kind of questioning is this? All we are complaining about is criminal over voting”.