Ogun Tribunal: APC Prominent witness Affirms over voting

A prominent witness of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abeokuta, on Wednesday acknowledged the occurrence of over-voting in some polling units during the March 18 election.

Counsel to the APC (the third respondent), Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) opened their defence at the ongoing Tribunal by calling four witnesses.

One of the witness, Yemi Adelani, who was the APC State Collation Agent during the governorship election while being cross examined by Gordy Uche (SAN) Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ladi Adebutu confirmed to the court that there were over voting in some polling units in State.

Uche, while cross examining Adelani showed him a certified true copy of INEC result of a polling unit and was asked to calculate the total vote cast with total rejected votes and compare with the number of accredited voters.

Adelani who had earlier denied that there was over voting and claimed that there was voting buying recanted his claim, confirming that there was over voting.

Adebutu had dragged Governor Dapo Abiodun before the three-man Tribunal alleging that the governor did not win the majority of votes cast during the March 18 governorship election.

PDP and Adebutu in the petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023 accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the election.

The petitioners also alleged that elections were disrupted by thugs in over 99 polling units, disenfranchising over 40,000 voters from participating in the election.

The petitioners had closed their cases after calling 94 witnesses and tendering over 200,000 documents in evidence.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal adjourned its sitting till September 4 after all parties closed their cases.

The INEC, being the first respondent also opened and closed its case without calling any witness.

Abiodun who is the second respondent on Tuesday closed his defence after calling six witnesses.

Also on Wednesday, the ruling APC and third witness opened and closed its case after calling four witnesses.

Among witnesses who testified in support of APC's defence are, Yemi Adelani, who was the APC State Collation Agent; Ifede Ifetayo, collation agent for Ikenne LG and Sulaiman Ayobami, who was Sagamu LG agent.

They were led in evidence by the APC counsel, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and cross-examined by Wole Olanipekun (SAN) representing Abiodun, Gordy Uche (SAN), standing in for the petitioners and Olumide Ogidan who represented INEC.

In closing APC's case, Oyetibo said "Having carefully examined the evidence tendered by the petitioners and the evidence adduced by the respondents, we are satisfied that we have covered the case."

Justice Hamidu Kunaza-led panel adjourned proceeding till Monday, September 4, 2023, for the adoption of final written address.

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