Oyo State governorship election petition tribunal, on Wednesday, concluded definite hearing in the petition filed by the Accord Party and its governorship candidate in the April 11 election, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and adjourned till September 30.
Senator Ladoja is challenging Senator Ajimobi’s victory in a suit number EPT/IB/Gov/22/2015 before a three- man election petition tribunal.
The tribunal is headed by Justice Mohammed Aliu Mayaki and supported by Justices Muhammed Karaye and J.E. Ikere.
The governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the All Progressives Congress (APC), are the first and second respondents represented by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), respectively while Yusuf Ali (SAN), is the counsel to the third and fourth respondents — the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC.)
Richard Ogunwole (SAN), is the lead counsel for the petitioners- Senator Rashidi Ladoja and the Accord party.
Wednesday’s closure of hearing was premised on the position of the defence by the counsel to the third and fourth respondents, Yusuf Ali (SAN), not to call any of its witnesses on Wednesday.
Counsel to Ambassador Akeju and INEC, Yusuf Ali, announced the decision before the tribunal on Wednesday.
He said the original INEC documents before the tribunal are enough evidence to the fact that elections were held contrary to the petition brought by Senator Ladoja and his party.
Ali added that all the original documents already admitted as exhibits before the panel are testimonies that the results garnered by political parties and their governorship candidates were recorded accurately and not falsified as claimed by the petitioners.
He maintained that “since nobody had tendered any other result aside from the one announced by INEC, it shows there was no falsification of the result of the election as included in the petition of Senator Ladoja.”
Though, counsel to the petitioners, Ogunwole, objected o Ali’s submission to call witness.
In all, the tribunal admitted over 217 documents as exhibits from the petitioners, while they also presented 29 witnesses.
Consequent upon the closing of defence by the third and fourth respondents, the tribunal therefore, fixed September 30, for the adoption of final addresses of all the counsel.
The chairman then said that time is now available for the tribunal, saying maximum time will now be given to all the parties. According to him, respondents now have 10 days to write and file their final written addresses while the petitioners have seven days within which to file same.
In addition, all the parties have five days to reply on point of law.
The parties also have additional 10 pages aside from the 40 pages meant for the final addresses for their objections to the admissible of documents tendered during the hearing session.