The standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the August 9, 2014 governorship election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, will today open his case before the election petition tribunal, adjudicating over complaints, that arose from the exercise.
Omisore, had challenged the victory of the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Governor Rauf Aregbesola, disputing the result of the poll in 17 local government councils, praying the court to declare him the winner of election with valid votes.
At the last proceedings of the tribunal, the chairperson of the 3-member panel, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime had adjourned the opening of Omisore’s case till today on the request of his lead counsel, Mr Nathaniel Oke (SAN) shortly after the completion of the pre-trial session.
Oke had informed the tribunal that: “My Lords, we are ready to open our case, since the pre-hearing has been closed by your Lordship”.
Subsequently, the tribunal chairman, Justice Elizabethe Ikpejime respondend, “we are ready now to begin hearing you can call your witnesses now”
But, Omisore’s counsel made a u-turn and applied for the adjournment till today, saying, “we don’t want to open our case now and after calling two or three witnesses we will be asking for adjournment. We want adjournment till Monday”.
However, the application was opposed by counsel to Aregbesola, Mr Kunle Adegoke who contended that the application was purely in conflict with the allegation of the PDP that the respondents in the matter were trying to delay the hearing of the matter.
He said: “We have been harrased so much in the media by the petitioners that we are trying to delay the proceeding, but it is them now that are dragging us back”.
Meanwhile, three issues that have been formulated by the tribunal out of the issues raised by the parties are whether the tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain the matter and whether the election was vitiated by reason of corrupt practices, irregularity and substantial non-compliance with the provision of the electoral act and manual for the conduct of the election.
Other issue is whether the first respondent was validly returned as a candidate who polled the majority of lawful votes at the election.