Tribunal reserves judgment in dispute over Osun governorship election

The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal has reserved judgment in a petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, in the September 2018 governorship election held in the state.

The tribunal yesterday, after entertaining final arguments and adoption of written addresses by lawyers to the parties, announced that judgment has been reserved.Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, said that parties would be informed at least 48 hours before the date of delivery of the judgment.

Wole Olanipekun (SAN) appeared for Oyetola; Akin Olujinmi (SAN) represented the APC and Lasco Pwahomdi appeared for INEC in the suit.In adopting their separate final addresses, Olanipekun, Olujinmi and Pwahomdi urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the grounds that the petitioners have failed to prove their case.

Lawyer to the petitioners, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), urged the tribunal to uphold the petition and grant all the reliefs prayed by the petitioners. Olanipekun noted that the petition was full of confusing claims and betrayed the petitioners’ lack of understanding of the nation’s election petition jurisprudence.

Also, Olujinmi faulted the evidence given by 63 polling agents called as witnesses by the petitioners.He noted that though the petitioners called 80 witnesses in all, 63, who were polling unit agents, gave common evidence by saying similar things and using almost exactly the same words.

Olujinmi also said that the evidence by the 74th witness, who was the state polling agent, amounted to hearsay evidence because he admitted getting the information from the documents submitted to him.He urged the tribunal to ignore the various documents tendered by the petitioners, which he said they merely dumped on the tribunal without demonstrating their link to the case.

However, Ikpeazu urged the tribunal to disregard the issues raised by the respondents’ lawyers and also faulted the written addresses by the second and third respondents, which he argued, were not filed as required by law. Ikpeazu, who noted that there was no confusion as it relates to the case of the petitioners, said the respondents’ claim of existence of confusion betrayed their misunderstanding of the case.He faulted the respondents’ argument that the petitioners dumped documents on the tribunal.

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Ademola AdelekePDP
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