By CrossRiverWatch admin
After several weeks of legal fireworks at the Cross River Election Petition Tribunal, Senator Bassey Otu, senatorial candidate of the Labor Party for the March 28 Southern Senatorial district election, seems not to be making any headway in establishing a prima facie case of election manipulation against Senator Gershom Bassey of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Otu had filed a petition before the tribunal seeking to upturn the victory of Senator Gershom Bassey, the PDP senatorial candidate, on the grounds of alleged manipulation of the election in his favor by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Since the commencement of cross examination by counsels, the key witnesses and forensic expert called by Otu goofed as they failed to come up with tangible evidence to establish any form of irregularities or manipulation in the March 28 senatorial poll.
In a resumed sitting on Thursday, August 6, the forensic examiner, Dr. Vincent Oka who was hired failed to prove the authenticity of his forensic report when he mounted the witness box for cross examination.
At a point under cross examination, the forensic expert, in his report, said there were 21,782 (twenty thousand seven hundred and eighty two) multiple thump printing in favor of the PDP but failed to provide tangible evidence of the 21, 782 multiple thump prints to the tribunal.
According to him, he used the forensic method in analysing the thumb prints which is mostly used by police to detect finger prints in a crime scene which is completely at variance with modern method of thumb printing analysis to detect multiple thumb printing as he claims.
Lead counsel to the 1st respondent (Gershom Bassey), Paul Erokoro (SAN) had argued against the authenticity of the forensic report, saying the forensic examiner is contradicting his evidence by failing to provide tangible prove of the purported multiple thump printing.
“You claimed you arrived at this with aid of automated finger identification system (AFIS) but do you know that even though AFIS machine has identified a particular finger making a particular imprint the forensic expert still needs scientific method to do interpretation.
“ In your report, you said you found 21, 782 cases of multiple thump printing in favor of the PDP but you cannot prove it because you showed us only 20 enlarged imprints. You don’t have analysis to show the tribunal the 21, 782 multiple thump prints,” Erokoro asked the forensic examiner who failed to provide any answers.
The case was further adjourned to August 10, 2015.
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