Ekiti Electoral documents brought by Oni exceeded polling units – Tribunal

Ekiti Electoral documents brought by Oni exceeded polling units – Tribunal

Ekiti Electoral documents brought by Oni exceeded polling units – Tribunal. When the former governor, Chief Segun Oni, entered the witness box at the Election Petition Tribunal hearing the dispute resulting from the June 18 Ekiti gubernatorial election on Thursday, there was a small amount of drama.

Election records were presented to the Tribunal by Oni, the first petitioner and Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, in an effort to submit them as evidence.

The 1st Petitioner stated that when he requested to view electoral papers held in the custody of the 4th Respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he was denied access. He had previously been led in examination-in-chief by his lead attorney, Mr. Obafemi Adewale (SAN).

Oni subsequently admitted before the Tribunal that “I received some today,” despite having earlier informed the Panel that he “didn’t acquire the most crucial ones like Bimodal Voter Authentication System (BVAS) Machine, used and unused vote papers.”

Prince Lateef Fagbemi, Chief Akin Olujinmi, and Mai Mala Buni’s lead attorneys all raised objections to the admissibility of the papers Oni wanted to offer on behalf of the first respondent, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.

They informed the Panel that they would keep their objections to the speech stage under wraps.

Just a few minutes after noon, the Tribunal decided to adjourn until 2.30 p.m. so that Oni could begin his cross-examination in full. Drama, however, broke out when the three-member Panel began its meeting at at 3:47 p.m.

While the hearing was suspended, the Tribunal Secretariat marked the papers, and it was found that some of the documents exceeded the limit for all 2,445 voting places in the State.

As they disagreed on who was at fault, this led to a contentious disagreement between the attorneys for the Petitioners and Respondents.

The Panel sought to mark each of the papers for each of the voting units for convenience of reference, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice Wilfred Kpochi, stated in response to the arguments. However, it was revealed that there were additional records for each of the polling units submitted to court.

The ruling would be based on polling units, but what was submitted was more than that, he added. Even if it is your paper, we want it to be a document per voting unit so that they may examine it thoroughly.

The situation is intractable, thus we are unable to move forward. It is up to you to verify what is for each unit as of right now because we are unsure.

In contravention of the Tribunal’s decision, Adewale claimed INEC had denied his client access to the papers in sufficient time, claiming “we have produced what INEC granted us.”

Oni had submitted the documents, finished his attorney’s initial questioning of him, and should be prepared for the Respondents’ attorneys’ cross-examination, according to Fagbemi.

Olujinmi, the attorney for APC, and Soje, the attorney for Buni, both presented the same line of reasoning.

In his argument, INEC’s attorney, Edosomwan, said that the judges “cannot descend into the arena” and that his client and the other Respondents could not present the Petitioners’ case for them.

In order to properly annotate the materials submitted by Oni, the Panel again shut off the hearing at this point, about 4.20 p.m.