There was a mild drama at the ongoing Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Thursday, as Governor Dapo Abiodun’s witnesses called by his lead Counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, disowned election results in form EC8A bearing their signatures.
Abiodun, the All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate and second respondent in the Petition number EPT/OG/GOV/01/19, opened his defence on Wednesday. The petitioner; Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) closed his case earlier on Tuesday.
But at the resumed hearing of the Petition on Thursday, one of the witnesses, Ajao Olatunde who had adopted his statement on oath as evidence in chief during proceeding, later told the Tribunal when cross-examined by Akinlade’s Counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), that he couldn’t remember what his party scored at his polling unit.
And upon being shown the pink copy of form EC8A used in his polling unit which had already been admitted as exhibit, Olatunde told the Tribunal Panel that he could not read the figures on the result sheet.
“I can’t confirm it. I know our party won the election, I can’t confirm the score on the form (EC8A,) I can’t recollect what my party scored,” the 52-year-old witness said.
Also, Amosun Olusola who said he was an agent of APC in ward 9 unit 01 in Egbado South Local Government, told the Court he was not in agreement with the result sheet of his polling units shown him even when the document bears his acknowledged signature marked P28.
He said the figures on the result sheet bearing his signature did not represent the scores announced at the polling unit(on the election day), adding that the exhibit was prone to alteration.
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Another witness, Sotayo Bisayo who was an APC agent in Ward II unit 16 of Abeokuta South was also unsure of party’s score despite identifying his signature on result sheets marked – P4 and P74 which were shown to him.
Asked by Raji if the result sheet carrying his signature was the same as one given to him on the election day, he said, “It looks like it but I am not sure if it is.”
The same experience occurred when an aged agent, Mudashiru Ogunkoya of Ward IV unit V, Remo North Local Government identified and adopted his statement on oath as evidence in chief before the tribunal but when cross-examined, Ogunkoya affirmed that he doesn’t know the meaning of what was contained in his statement on oath despite appending his signature.
When presented with copies of results sheets in his polling unit, Ogunkoya who spoke through an interpreter, said he has never seen the pink copy marked Exhibit P22, although, it bears his signature.
Witness Ogunkoya also said he doesn’t know the meaning of accreditation and won’t know anything about night accreditation.
Counsel to the APC; Abeeb Ajayi, could not cross-examine the witness but thanked him for coming.
“All I want to say is that thank you for coming,” Ajayi said.
Justice Yusuf Halidu who was the leader of the three-man panel remarked that he knew the Tribunal was in for a drama immediately the witness entered the court saying, ‘and it was a dramatic session.”