Ladi Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) candidate for governor, filed a petition, and the Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal has reserved judgment.
According to The Daily Post, the tribunal resumed on Monday so that the parties could adopt their final addresses after calling witnesses and submitting evidence.
The petitioners were represented in court by Chris Uche. Remi Olatubora acted as the representative for the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Governor Dapo Abiodun, the second respondent, was represented by Wole Olanipekun, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the third respondent, was represented by Onyechi Ikpeazu.
The respondents urged the tribunal to deny Adebutu and the PDP's petition while adopting their written addresses.
Counsel to INEC, Olatubora, argued that the documents tendered by the petitioners were inadmissible because “they were not the makers of those documents.”
In his submission, Olanipekun stated that the documents tendered by the petitioners were not signed, even though they were certified by INEC.
Olanipekun stated that “unsigned documents are worthless, baseless, valueless, inadmissible, and void ab initio. I urge your lordships to dismiss the petition.”
APC counsel, Ikpeazu, said the petitioners did not state the particular polling units where there was over-voting or non-compliance. He maintained that the entire evidence on over-voting has no platform, asking the tribunal to “dismiss the petition.”
Responding, Uche urged the election court to discountenance the submissions of the respondents.
He urged the tribunal to hold that “the petitioners have credible evidence that is unchallenged and are entitled to the grant of the reliefs claimed by them in the petition.”
He described as scandalous the attempt by INEC to discredit the same documents it issued and certified, saying the commission has not come out to deny the documents or present counterdocuments.
On the margin of the lead principle, Uche held that elections were not disrupted due to resistance to the use of BVAS.
He said INEC reports confirmed that thugs disrupted the election, and INEC did not bring any other report or counter the incident reports from its ad hoc staff, adding that “the respondents’ witnesses also confirmed there were gunshots and people ran away.
The counsel pleaded with the court to grant the prayers of the petitioners, saying INEC has no evidence by failing to call witnesses and resting his case on that of the petitioners.
Meanwhile, the Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal appreciated the parties’ cooperation since the commencement of the proceedings.
The tribunal adjourned, saying, “Judgement is reserved until a date to be communicated to parties.”
Addressing newsmen after the proceeding, Olatubora said: “As counsel to INEC, we have defended INEC, and we have made it clear to the court that the election conducted by INEC was free and fair, and the court should uphold the election.
“The decision is that of the court; as counsels, we have put in all that we are required under the law to put in; we have put in necessary evidence by way of evidence extracted during the cross-examination.
“We have also put in legal arguments and legal submission, but the ultimate decision is with the court, and I prayed that God Almighty would guide them in giving a just decision in this case.”