Tribunal admits INEC’s electoral materials in evidence
Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta, the State capital has admitted in evidence electoral materials brought before it by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as requested by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Governorship candidate, Prince Nasir Gboyega Isiaka.
Isiaka and the PDP are at the Tribunal to challenge Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s victory at the Saturday, April 11 election.
The materials, brought to the court on Monday by the Deputy Director/Head of Department, Electoral Operations, Mr. Ogunjemilua Samuel through a writ of subpoena were Certified Copies of election result sheets, Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E, Voters Registers and Incident Reporting Forms.
Lead Counsel to the petitioners, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), at the resumed hearing applied to the court to tender the documents in evidence from the bar but was strongly opposed by Counsels to the 1st and 2nd Respondents (Amosun and the APC respectively).
Quoting paragraphs 18 (7) and 41 (2)(3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), Lead counsel to the First Respondent, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) argued that the documents could only be tendered from the bar if all the parties had consented to such documents at the pre-hearing stage.
Fagbemi also explained that there was nowhere in the report of the pre-hearing report dated 13th July, where it was said that parties agreed that the documents were to be tendered in evidence.
Counsel to the All Progressives Congress APC George Oyeniyi aligned with Fagbemi’s argument. He also added that the petitioners, specifically did not mention four local governments, Obafemi-Owode, Ifo, Sagamu and Ewekoro are among Councils which they are contesting.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the three-man Panel, Justice Henry Olusiyi agreed with Counsel to the petitioners and held that the documents could be tendered from the bar.
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