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Makinde, Adelabu Know Fate At Election Tribunal Monday

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Oyo state Governorship and National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal will on Monday deliver judgement on the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, challenging the victory of Governor Seyi Makinde in the March 9 election.

It was gathered that the Justice Sirajo Mohammed-led tribunal had already communicated with all the parties in the petition on its readiness to deliver the judgement today.

It would be recalled that few weeks ago, counsel to parties in the petition have adopted their final written addresses after many weeks of legal battle.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Barrister Akinolu Kehinde (SAN) in his written address, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being grossly unmeritorious and lacking in substance.

He added that the petitioners erroneously put the burden of proof on INEC whereas the responsibility of proof lies on the petitioners.

Kehinde said the petitioners complained of irregularities in 1,334 polling units and only called 38 polling unit agents out of which majority of them confirmed that the election conducted by INEC complied strictly with the Electoral Act.

He maintained that it was the responsibility of the petitioners to bring at least one witness from the 1,334 polling units, they complained about and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

On his part, Counsel to Governor Seyi Makindel, Dr Omyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said the reliefs sought by the petitioners were faulty and evidences of the other witnesses not called amount to hearsay and urged the court to dismiss the petition.

The PDP Counsel, Chief Nathaniel Oke (SAN), while adopting his final written address, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the ground of inadequacy of evidence and for lacking in merit.

However, Counsel to the APC governorship candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu and APC, Mallam Yusuf Alli (SAN),  urged the court to hold that the petition was meritorious and that other witness not called have their statement properly laid before the tribunal and  that under the law the number of witnesses called cannot override what had been properly laid before the tribunal.

Alli added that  cases were not won on the quantum of witnesses called but on the quality of testimony of the witnesses called, adding that the testimony of petitioners’ witness number 62 (PW62) speaks volume, saying there were massive electoral infractions in 28 out of the 33 Local Government Areas called and a document spoke for itself after being adopted.

He maintained that a certified true copy of a document could be tendered by anybody and not only the maker, urging the tribunal to find merit in it.

 

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