Ogun Tribunal: Adebutu, PDP Close Case With 94 Witnesses, Over 200,000 Exhibits - The People's Voice


Friday, July 28, 2023

Ogun Tribunal: Adebutu, PDP Close Case With 94 Witnesses, Over 200,000 Exhibits

By Our Correspondent

The Ogun State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu have closed their case against Dapo Abiodun at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal after calling 94 witnesses.

The witnesses called include a forensic document examiner, Reginald Udunze, a digital forensic expert, Samuel Oduntan, and a star witness, Sunkanmi Oyejide.

The petitioners also tendered over 200,000 documents before the Tribunal to prove their case.

PDP and Adebutu in the petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023 are challenging the victory of Abiodun based on alleged non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the election.

The petitioners insisted that Abiodun did not win the majority of the lawful votes cast at the polls.

Adebutu alleged that elections were disrupted by thugs in over 99 polling units, disenfranchising over 40,000 voters from participating in the March 18 polls.

In the last two weeks since Adebutu and PDP opened their case, the petitioners called voters and party agents from Sagamu, Ikenne, Odogbolu, Remo North, Ogun Waterside, Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ado-Odo/Ota, and other local governments as witnesses to prove that there were disruptions in different polling units across the State.

The petitioners also summoned with a subpoena, two INEC ad-hoc staff and an official of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to testify before the tribunal.

They also tendered in evidence, certified true copies of INEC electoral materials, result sheets, voter registers, printouts from the Bimodal Voters Accreditation (BVAS) machines, incident forms, video evidence, forensic reports, and others.

With this, Adebutu and the PDP said they have closed their case, waiting for the petitioners – INEC, Abiodun, and the APC to open their defence.

Addressing journalists after the sitting, counsel to the petitioners, Chris Uche, disclosed that, “We have called 94 witnesses on behalf of the petitioners and we have tendered over 200,000 INEC documents before the court as well as our own documents.”

Uche explained that, having done all these, “we formerly ended the calling of witnesses on behalf of the petitioners. It is the turn of the respondents to start their response. They have asked for an adjournment to Wednesday, which has been granted to them.

When we come on Wednesday, we’ll find out what their defence to all these various allegations in respect of which we’ve brought overwhelming evidence before the court is. And we are going to confront them with all these documents we have tendered if they call their witnesses.

Meanwhile, INEC is expected to open its defence on Wednesday, being the first respondent in the petition.

INEC’s Counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, during the pre-hearing session, told the tribunal that the electoral umpire would be calling just one witness.

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