TRIBUNAL UPDATE: ‘Open Your Case Today’ – APC, ‘No We Are Not Ready Now’- PDP Replies

scales-of-justiceThe State of Osun Election Tribunal has granted the petitioner’s prayer to open his case on Monday, November 10.

The adjournment was at the instance of petitioner’s Counsel, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), who urged the tribunal to allow him open his case on Monday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate in the August 9 governorship election in the state, Senator Iyiola Omisore and his party are the petitioners, while Governor Rauf Aregbesola, All Progressive Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are respondents in the suit.

Although, Counsels to the 1st and 2nd respondents, Kunle Adegoke and Aderemi Abimbola, opposed the adjournment, insisting that the petitioner must open his case immediately.

Adegoke who argued that the application was purely in conflict with the allegation of the PDP that the respondents in the matter are trying to delay the hearing of the matter.

Adegoke said “We have been harassed so much in the media by the petitioners that we are trying to delay the proceeding, but you can see now that they are the one dragging us back.?

“The tribunal is ready, we are also ready, but it is the petitioners that are not ready. In fact we are here with our own witnesses and the document we want to tender”, he added.

Counsel to the APC, Mr Aderemi Abimbola also associated with the objection of Aregbesola counsel, requesting for a N500,000 cost against the petitioners.

Subsequently, the tribunal granted the application for adjournment till Monday, November 10.

However, the Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime led tribunal, ruled that the petitioner is entitled to open his case as he deems fit.

Citing paragraph 41(10) of the first schedule of Electoral act, the panel held that each of the respondents shall use 10 days, while the petitioner has 14 days to call their witnesses.

The panel further held that any objection to the admissibility of evidence during the hearing should be filed in the submission of the counsels and would be decided on the day judgement will be delivered.

It would be recalled that Omisore and the PDP, who are challenging the re-election of Aregbesola and APC have accused the respondents of using delay tactics for the hearing of the petition.

The panel also adopted minutes for cross examination of each of the witness that will testify before the panel as proposed by the respondents during the last sitting.