The Osun State Governorship election Petitions Tribunal has adjourned till March 7 for the adoption of final written addresses by the parties in the disputed Osun State governorship election won by the All Progressives Congress’ Adegboyega Oyetola.
This was after the tribunal heard how the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who is challenging Oyetola’s victory, allegedly promised to give voters money while was campaigning for the September 27, 2018 rerun.
An APC witness, Kazeem Oladejo, told the tribunal that Adeleke visited his community, Idi-Iya in Orolu Local Government Area in Osun State, and openly promised to give people money to vote for him.
He spoke while being cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who leads Oyetola’s legal team.
Asked by Olanipekun if Adekele visited his community between September 22 and September 27, when the rerun was held, Oladejo said, “In between the first election and when the rerun was conducted, he (Adeleke) came to my village to seek votes.
“He came to our town, dancing. He went to the Oba’s palace, and went around the town dancing and campaigning, and saying, ‘I am coming fully now’.
“Many big Nigerians like Femi Otedola and Dangote are supporting me. Vote for me and I will give you money. I will give you dollars. I will give you Pound Sterling. I will give you Euro’.”
The witness added, “He danced around the town and danced out of the town, while he was leaving after the campaign.”
Oladejo, who was the APC’s polling unit agent in Unit 4 Ward 8, Idi-Iya Village, confirmed signing a written deposition and asked the tribunal to accept it as his evidence.
Under cross-examination lawyer forhe the Independent National Electoral Commission, Adesina Agbede, the witness said he stood by his written deposition, which the tribunal admitted as his oral evidence in the case.
Under cross-examination by lawyer for Adeleke and the PDP, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), the witness said he did not include the information, about how Adeleke promised to bribe voters in his written deposition.
When asked by Oke whether the election was monitored by observers, Oladejo said there were many observers. He said both local and foreign observers were at his polling unit.
Another witness, Soji Ayoola, who said he was APC’s agent in Unit 8, Ward 9 in Isundurin, Ejigbo LGA, under cross-examination by Agbede, said his polling unit was won by the PDP with 168 against APC’s 86 votes.
He said, “Before the election, all the materials were shown to us and the ballot papers were counted at the end of the election.”
Under cross-examination by Olanipekun, the witness confirmed that the PDP won in the unit where he served as an agent.
Ayoola said the votes had been sorted out, counted and announced before the results were written on the result sheet (Form EC8A).
The witness, who read from the Form EC8A, noted that the total number of issued ballot papers for his polling unit was 714 while the total number of used and unused ballot papers stood at 711.
After Oladejo spoke, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), who leads the APC’s legal team, told the tribunal that the party had decided to close its case after calling its second witness.
Following an agreement by the parties, the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Sirajo, directed the respondents (INEC, Oyetola and APC) to file their written addresses within 10 days.
He gave the petitioners and respondents 14 days to file and exchange their written addresses and five days to reply on point of law.
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