Monday, August 17, 2015 8:55 pm
Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC today stunned Isabo court, Abeokuta,the venue of the ongoing governorship Election Petition Tribunal as they came with thousands of documents loaded in four Hilux vans.
The documents were brought to the court by the Deputy Director and Head of Department, Electoral Operations, Mr. Samuel Ogunjemilua.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the documents were brought at the instance of the petitioners; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its candidate in the April 11,2015 governorship election, Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka.
Ogunjemilua was invited to the tribunal through a writ of subpoena dated 12th of August applied for by the Counsel to the petitioners, Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN) and granted by the court.
The documents brought by the INEC official, included Certified True Copies of Voters Register Record; Result Sheets, Incident Forms and original copies of ballot papers for the nine local government areas under contention.
The affected local governments are all the six local governments in Ogun Central Senatorial District,which are;Abeokuta North, Odeda, Abeokuta South, Ewekoro, Ifo, Obafemi Owode.
Others are two from Ogun East Senatorial District, Sagamu and Remo North and one from Ogun West,Ado-Odo/Ota local government area.
Amosun won in all the six local councils of Ogun Central, a constituency that he once represented in the Senate between 2003 and 2007.
Earlier, Counsel to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) had argued that Ogunjemilua be sworn on an oath like every other witness before he could tender the documents before the tribunal.
“If he is to tender, he is duty bound to comply with what he has been brought to court to do, nobody can take the court for granted”,Fagbemi said.
While both Counsel to APC and INEC, George Oyeniyi and Oluwadare Ogunnaike aligned with Fagbemi, Oyeyipo disagreed, citing the decision of the Court of Appeal in Olaniyan vs Oyewole, 2008.
Relying on Famakinwa vs. University of Ibadan and Akanno vs. Nigeria Army, 2008, Chairman of the three man panel, Justice Henry Olusiyi ruled that the subpoena should be taken for its title and that the witness was not competent to be sworn or affirmed.
He further ruled that the respondents can not force the petitioner to do what he doesn’t want to do, since the case ‘is their case’.
The petitioners are however expected to tender the documents at subsequent sittings of the Tribunal.
The case continues Tuesday.