Counsels to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the petitioners and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the respondents, on Tuesday, disagreed when the governorship candidate of the PDP, Ladi Adebutu, stormed the Ogun State election petition tribunal with over 8,000 documents.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to Adebutu and the PDP, Goddy Uche, told the tribunal that he was in court with undisputed documents to tender same from the bar.
However, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Remi Peter Olatunbora; that of Governor Dapo Abiodun, Kehinde Ogunwumiju and counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kunle Kalejaiye, all rejected the application.
According to the counsels to the respondents, the petitioner did not write to invite them for the inspection of the documents, saying they were just seeing the schedule of documents to be tendered in court this morning.
According to them, the schedule was 98 pages, containing a list of 8,000 documents to be admitted from the bar.
Though the Counsel to Adebutu, Uche, said the documents were as received from INEC and were undisputed as parties were there when they were received from the electoral umpire, the respondents insisted on inspection.
In his words, INEC’s counsel, Olatunbora said the documents were taken away from the commission weeks ago and would need to be confirmed whether or not the documents are still as released by INEC.
“I need to be sure that the documents are from INEC. Please direct all of us to go back to the INEC conference room to crosscheck all these documents,” Olatunbora prayed the court.
Responding, Uche asked the court to permit the counsels scrutinise the documents on Tuesday and return to tender them on Wednesday.
But in their requests, the second and third respondents’ counsels asked the court for two days to go through the 8,000 exhibits brought to court by the petitioners.
The matter took a new twist when the Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal asked the respondents if their own documents were ready and they responded in the negative.
Kunaza, who was not pleased with the turn of things in court said there is no time to waste, stressing that “anybody that wants to go should go.”
He recalled that he had given the directive that all parties must tender their documents on Tuesday, wondering why the respondents were not in court with theirs.
Speaking for INEC, Olatunbora said he had very few documents to tender and they would be through his witnesses.
Also, Ogunwumiju and Kalejaiye told the court that they would tender their documents when they finally open their case.
Meanwhile, the tribunal asked all parties to go and inspect the documents and “come back on Thursday, 6th of July to admit all documents.”