Adeleke, INEC kick as tribunal admits Oyetola’s documentary evidence
Osun State Election Petition Tribunal, yesterday, admitted the documentary evidence tendered by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola that the declaration of Ademola Adeleke as the governor-elect was manipulated.
Among the documents admitted in evidence were the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regulation and guideline for the election, INEC manual for electoral officials, Forms EC8As, which are election results for Osogbo, Ede North and Ede South local councils, among others.
But counsel for INEC, Paul Ananaba (SAN), declined consent to documents issued as Certified True Copies (CTCs) by the commission.
At the hearing of the tribunal yesterday, counsel for Oyetola, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), informed the tribunal that the documentary evidence sought to be tendered had been cross-checked by the respondents and they all agreed that it should be tendered.
Ananaba subsequently raised an objection to all the documents, which had already been certified by the commission.
However, surprised by the objection, one of the judges queried: “You are raising objection even to your regulations?” Ananaba, in response, insisted on objecting to all the documents as listed in the schedule and hinted that he would give reasons for his objection in the final written address.
Also, counsel for Adeleke, Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN) and the PDP, Alex Izinyon (SAN), also objected to the admissibility of the evidence and indicated that they would give reasons in their final addresses.
Responding to their objections, Fagbemi sought to tender another evidence that contained the ‘schedule of the documents’ to be tendered, but Ananaba again objected on the grounds that it was never pleaded.
Surprised again, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Tertsea Kume, queried the INEC counsel and referred to the record where the counsel informed the court that he had cross-checked the schedule of documents and had no objection.
It was on the basis of this that the INEC counsel withdrew his objection, while Adeleke and PDP’s counsel also raised no objection to the tendering of the documents.
The tribunal, which admitted in evidence all the documents and marked them as exhibits, adjourned till today for continuation of hearing.