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Oyetola, Osun APC to tender documentary evidence at tribunal today

Osun State Election Petition Tribunal hearing the suit filed by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola against the declaration of Ademola Adeleke as governor-elect will today receive a dossier of documentary evidence against the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At the sitting of the tribunal, yesterday, the Chairman, Justice Tertsea Kume, adjourned the case till today for the respondents to cross-check the list of documents to be tendered, with a view to making the tendering seamless for the petitioners.

Earlier at the hearing, counsel to Oyetola and APC, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had informed the court of his intention to tender some documentary evidence to prove the alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act by INEC.

But counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alex Izinyon (SAN), objected to the tendering of the documents on the ground that it ran foul of paragraph 3 of the pre-hearing report, which indicated that list of witnesses should be filed 24 hours to the hearing.

He said that since the petitioners have allegedly disobeyed the tribunal order, the petition should be dismissed as the consequence of the action.

Counsel to INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN), also argued along the same line and said that the attempt to tender the documents violates the tribunal order and the petition should be dismissed.

Adeleke’s counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN), however, told a different line and argued that since the petitioners were ready to tender the documents, they ought to have allowed the respondents to have access to it earlier for cross-checking so that the tendering would be seamless.

Fagbemi, while responding, argued that paragraph 3 of the pre-hearing report being relied on by the PDP counsel was not in any way referring to documentary evidence, but the calling of witnesses.

Subsequently, the tribunal chairman asked the parties to discuss and agree on how the documents would be tendered that will make it seamless, to which the parties agreed.

He subsequently adjourned till today for the continuation of the hearing.

Tribunal is to receive the petitioners’ documentary evidence on Tuesday.

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