•Osun governor calls 11 witnesses
•APC to open defence February 6
OSUN State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola has closed his defence before the state’s Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Oyetola, who is the second respondent in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, closed his case after calling 11 witnesses and tendering many documentary evidence, including election result sheets.
PDP and Adeleke are challenging the outcome of the election won by Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
On February 1, after calling his 11th witness – Adegboyega Rasaki Adeosunn, who acted APC’s State Collation Officer during the election – Oyetola promised to call four more on Monday.
At the resumption of proceedings on Monday, Oyetola’s lawyer John Baiyeshea (SAN) told the tribunal that his client did not see any reason to call more witnesses and had decided to close his case.
Baiyeshea said: “We wanted to call three more witnesses but we have decided that we don’t need more witnesses to prove our case. So, that is the case of the second respondent.”
Lawyer to the third respondent (APC), Yomi Aliyu, told the tribunal that his client was ready to open its defence yesterday, and asked that further proceedings be shifted to today.
Tribunal’s Chairman Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, in a ruling, closed the case of the second respondent and adjourned till today for the third respondent to open its defence.
While testifying on February 1, Oyetola’s last witness told the tribunal that all political parties, including the PDP, agreed to the rerun election ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Osun State during the last governorship election.
Adeosun, under cross-examination by lawyer to INEC, Adesina Agbede, said: “At the State Collation Centre, when the local government collation officers came to report local government by local government, the Local Government Returning Officers gave explanations on what happened at some polling units and said the results could not be finalised.
“That led to the cancellation of the results of those polling units. At the point of aggregation of all results from the 30 local government areas, the Returning Officer of the state informed us that the number of voters in those polling units exceeded the margin between the scores of the two leading candidates – the second petitioner and the second respondent.
“The margin showed that the difference is small compared to the number of the registered voters, and they cannot be disenfranchised. All the party agents were there, as reflected by those who signed the Form EC8D,” the witness said.
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