Adejare Bello Petition Fatally Defective, As Tribunal Begins Sitting

It was drama of sorts on the 24th day of May at the Osun State High Court, venue of the National Assembly elections petition tribunal in Osun State, as Barrister Adejare Bello through his counsels, could not remember the date of the election they are contesting in court.

All grounds of the petition were predicated on an election conducted on 23rd of Match, 2019 as against 23rd of February 2019. As a matter of fact, it took the magnanimity of the tribunal panel not to behead the petition abruptly against the obvious fatality of the petition, when the tribunal chairman reserved all rulings concerning the petition till final judgment.

Counsel to Barrister Bamidele Salam had earlier raised objection to tendering of some documents in relation to the petition filed against his election by the APC candidate in the election, Hon Adejare Bello.

The objection was premised on the fact that the documents were neither listed not pleaded in the documents the petitioner sought to rely on in his petition and that the documents were being tied to an unknown election as quoted in the date of the election by the petitioner.

According to the lead counsel to Salam, Barr. Olusola Comfort Fasugba, a petitioner ought to list all documents he intended to rely on in the course of the petition to make it admissible by the tribunal. This position was corroborated by counsel to INEC, Barr. Olajide Olanipekun, who pleaded that the documents – form EC40G for Ward 3, units 9 and 7 (Egbedore), ward 11 unit 7 and ward 2 unit 3 (Ede North), should be rejected as they were not only unlisted but were fatally quoted out of date the election was conducted by INEC. He told the Tribunal that INEC did not conduct the election being contested before the tribunal on 23rd of March as pleaded by the petitioner. Such date of election was unknown to Inec records, he said.

The Tribunal while admitting the documents under notice of objection by defence counsels of 2nd and 3rd respondents, however reserved ruling on the material facts of the documents till the final judgment on the petition.

Form EC8A and voters registers were also tendered in respect of Ward 2, unit 3; ward 11, unit 7, ward 2 unit 022, ward 2 unit 16, ward 4 unit 6, ward 5 unit 7, ward 7 unit 8, ward 7 unit 10, ward 8 unit 9, ward 10 unit 3, form EC8B of the eleven wards except ward 9 , as well as form EC8C, all in Ede North Local Government.

Other documents tendered by the petitioner also include form EC8A for wards 2, 4, 6, 7, 11, units 1, 8, 4, 3, 9 respectively, alongside form EC8B for the eleven wards and EC8C, all in Ejigbo local government.

The petitioner later sort adjournment of the sitting to be able to verify other documents sort to be tendered with the respondents’ counsels. The sitting was accordingly adjourned till Monday, 27th May 2019 for continuation of proceeding.

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