There is palpable tension in Ogun State as the Tribunal on governorship elections sitting in Abeokuta, on Saturday granted an application by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Gboyega Isiaka seeking to tender more exhibits against the victory of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the All Progressives Congress.
The tribunal extended its sitting till10.30pm on Saturday which resulted in a tense atmosphere around the court premises as suspected party thugs caused panic, forcing many to leave the court in fear.
The PDP and its governorship candidate had approached the tribunal challenging the victory of Amosun, which they said was fraught with irregularities and non-compliance with electoral laws. The petitioners wanted elections in nine local councils cancelled and declared Isiaka the winner of the election.
The applications, dated 18th August, 2015 was brought pursuant to section 151 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and paragraphs 41 (8), 45 (4)(5) of First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010.
Among other prayers, the application sought an order granting leave to the Petitioners to file and use as evidence to maintain the Petition, the sworn witness statement of last witness, Benjamin Ibikunle and report of inspection of election materials carried out on the order of the Tribunal.
In his reply, counsel to the petitioners, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN,) said the Tribunal would be over ruling itself since it was the same court which granted the order of the inspection.
The tribunal subsequently admitted the press statement in evidence and marked same as exhibit P4272.
The court also admitted offloaded data from card readers used for the election in the nine local governments under contention and marked same as exhibit P4273.
The manual used for the election was also admitted in evidence and marked exhibit P4272 while the tendering of ballot papers as exhibit failed as the Tribunal ruled PW9 incompetent to tender original document.
The witness was also invited to identify all the exhibits already admitted in evidence and cross examined by the lead counsel to Amosun, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).
The court, however adjourned till tomorrow for continuation of hearing, especially continuation of cross examination by other respondents.