The Osun State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Bola Ajao, has told the Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo that voters were allowed to be accredited and voted freely on the August 9 governorship election.
Also, a chieftain of the party, Gbadebo Adeyemo, who is the third witness in the petition filed by the party and his candidate in the August 9 gubernatorial election, Senator Iyiola
Omisore, on Tuesday informed the tribunal that incompetent policemen were deployed to his polling unit in Osogbo Local Government Area.
Ajao stated this before the tribunal while giving evidence at the continued hearing of the petition filed by Omisore and his party, the PDP, against the re-election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While being cross-examined by Aregbesola’s counsel, Chief Charles Edosonwan, the APC counsel, Chief Yomi Aliu, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) counsel, Mr.
Ayotunde Ogunleye, Ajao who was the petitioners’ first witness, said his claim as to the alleged rigging of the election were not witnessed by him, adding that: “I was told by my party agents.”
Responding to questions by Edonsonwan, he said: “I got to my Ward 8, unit 9 of Ifelodun Local Government Area at about 6:30a.m. on the election day, accreditation started by 8a.m. and voting started at about 12:30pm.
“I pass through the same process and I voted on that. I did not leave my unit until after the election. My party lost in my polling unit. My
testimonies on other units that our party is challenging are based on what I was told by my agents. I was not there.
“Omisore contested for a senatorial slot in 2011, but lost along with other candidates of the party. We did not challenge the election in court. I don’t know the number of polling units we are challenging.”
While being cross-examined by the INEC counsel, Ajao said he followed all the processes required from accreditation to voting, adding that after accreditation, people were allowed to vote.
Also answering question from APC counsel, the witness confirmed to the tribunal that all the result sheets for each of the local government areas in contention were signed by PDP supervisors on the election day.
The second and third witnesses, Mr. Kolapo Sikiru and Gbadebo Adeyemo, who claimed to be PDP ward supervisors in Ward 1 and 2 of Osogbo Local Government Area respectively, confirmed that their polling agents signed the result forms for each of the units except few.
Contrary to his claim that the result sheets of unit 2,3,4 and 5 of Ward 2, were not signed by his party agent, as deposed to in his witness statement, Gbadebo was confronted with the duplicate result
for the units that were tendered by the petitioners’ counsel which bore the signature of the agents and the witness was dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, at a point, there were altercations between counsel to the petitioners and the first respondents, as the former accused the latter of interjecting the cross-examination of the witnesses at the detriment of the 20 minutes permitted to cross-examine the witness.
The intervention of the tribunal judges brought the altercations under control.
Addressing journalists after the sitting, the first and third respondents’ counsel, Edosonwan and Ogunleye respectively, said the
testimonies of the petitioners’ witnesses had vindicated the respondents that the petition has no merit.
They were optimistic that more of such vindication would unfold in the course of cross-examining other witnesses.
The tribunal was on break as at the time of filling this report.
FG Deployed Incompetent Policemen To My Ward — PDP Witness
A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is the third witness in the petitioned filed by the party and his candidate in the August 9 gubernatorial election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, on Tuesday told the tribunal that incompetent policemen were deployed to his polling unit in Osogbo Local Government.
Gbadebo Adeyemo, a retired civil servant, during cross-examination by counsel to the third respondent, Barrister Ayotunde Ogunleye said contrary to the deployment of heavy security to man the election in the state, incompetent police officers were stationed in his polling unit at Isale-Osun area, Osogbo.
He alleged that INEC officials prevented his party’s agent from staying at the polling unit, insisting that the election was marred by irregularities.
When asked why he did not report the development to security personnel, he said only incompetent police were around, alleging that they worked with the direction of INEC officials.
Adeyemo who claimed to be a supervisor, denied that he wore PDP shirt with members of his party on the day of election.
Also testifying before the panel, Kolapo Sikiru, expressed dismay when he was shown Form EC8B and asked if he was the one that signed it.
During cross-examination by respondents’ counsel, Sikiru said, “I’m afraid of this court. I’m not the one that signed this. I’m a prince and I don’t tell lie.”
He said the signature in the voters’ register form EC8A were not the same, denying that all agents in ward 1 to 19 of Osogbo Local government have died.
When asked by counsel to the third respondents whether they are still alive, Sikiru said, “I didn’t receive information that anyone of them has died, and nobody wear PDP shirt on the day of election.