Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Oyo Governorship: INEC closes case in Adelabu’s petition against Makinde

The Independent National Electoral Commission has closed its case in the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, challenging the victory of Mr Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party in the March 9 governorship election in Oyo State.

The counsel for INEC, Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), closed the case on Tuesday after calling only one witness in the petition before the Oyo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

Kehinde told the tribunal that he was closing his case because INEC had discharged its burden of proof on the matter based on the evidence of his witness and petitioners’ witnesses.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, INEC only called an INEC staff member, Mrs Kehinde Aderike, who was the Electoral Officer in Ibadan South-East Local Government Area during the election.

The tribunal led by Justice Muhammed Sirajo called on Makinde’s counsel, Mr Ahamefula Ejelam (SAN), to open his case.

Ejelam told the tribunal that he did not envisage that INEC would only call one witness and close his case.

He told the tribunal that his witnesses were coming from different local governments in Oyo State and that he needed time to contact them.

Ejelam prayed the tribunal to adjourn the case till Thursday for him to open his case and an adjournment was consequently granted by the tribunal.

Earlier, Aderike told the tribunal during cross-examination by Ejelam that there was no report of polling units not getting election materials during the governorship election.

She also told the tribunal that she ensured that the election went on smoothly as an electoral officer.

Adelabu and his party, the APC, had earlier called their witnesses and closed their case in the petition while the other respondents in the matter were the PDP and INEC.