Law News
Omisore calls first witness, tenders poll results

 

Senator Iyiola Omisore

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, on Monday started calling his witnesses to prove to the Election Petitions Tribunal hearing his petition against Governor Rauf Aregbesola that the August 9th election was rigged.

The petitioner’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), called the secretary of the PDP in Osun State, Mr. Bola Ajao, as the Petitioner Witness 1.

The witness also tendered series of forms EC8A, which he said he collected from polling agents of the party from the disputed units on the Election Day.

The duplicate copies of the election results were also tendered by the witness.

The PW 1 also tendered duplicate copies of forms EC8 B, forms EC8 C and forms EC8 D, which are results from the wards, local government areas and the collation of the final result respectively.

Although, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, admitted the documents, she said the panel would rule on their admissibility in the final judgment.

“We reserve ruling on the admissibility of the documents till the judgment stage. However, without prejudice, the documents are admitted as evidence,” Ikpejime said.

Counsel to the first respondent, (Aregbesola), Mr. Segun Ajibola (SAN) had raised an objection to the admissibility of the documents tendered by the witness.

He argued that the duplicate copies of the election results were not certified true copies and that they were not authored by the witness who sought to tender them.

He urged the tribunal to reject the documents.

Counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), who also raised an objection to the admissibility of the documents, argued that the duplicate copies of the documents the petitioner sought to tender were not mentioned nor listed in the witness statement deposed to by the PW1.

He urged the tribunal to reject the polling results, saying “the documents are aliens to the witness’ deposition.”

The counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr. Ayotunde Ogunleye, also adopted the arguments of the first and second respondent and urged the tribunal to reject the documents.

Uche told the panel that he had filed a motion seeking to call additional witnesses and urged the tribunal to curtail the seven days which the respondent had to respond to it.

The respondents objected the application but eventually accepted to abridge the time they needed to reply after the pleading from the panel in order to save time.

The respondents conceded and agreed to file their reply to the motion within four days.

The petitioner’s counsel had earlier accused the INEC of delaying the inspection and scanning of election materials used for the governorship election.

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