The Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal has adjourned to January 30 this year for the state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola to open his defence.
The tribunal is hearing the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Isiaka, challenging the decision by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Oyetaola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election.
The petitioners are alleging, among others, that the election results were doctored to favour the APC candidate. It is also their contention that the election was marred with fraud and that it was not held in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo announced on Thursday, after INEC closed its case, that the tribunal will adjourn and return on January 30 when the second respondent will open his case. Oyetola is listed as the second respondent in the petition.
INEC, listed as the first respondent to the petition, opened its case last Friday and closed on Thursday, without calling oral evidence, but relied solely on documentary evidence.
The electoral body, while tendering all documents relevant to the election, including result sheets as announced by its officials, said it chose not to call oral evidence because the petitioners have not made out sufficient case to disprove the credibility of the election and the results it announced.
INEC opened its case at the closure of the case of the petitioners, who tendered documents and called oral evidence.
Most of the petitioner’s witnesses were PDP’s agents at the polling units where elections held.
Majority of the witnesses, who were artisans and traders, were barely literate and able to express themselves in English language.
Some of them could also not read when called upon to read portions of the statements they claimed were written for them by their lawyers, but which they signed.