Tactics of the legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore to ambush the legal team of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and All Progressive Congress (APC) failed on Monday, 10th November, 2014, as the latter resisted the tendering of non-certified document by consent.
Omisore and the PDP, petitioners, are challenging the re-election of Aregbesola and the APC, 1st and 2nd respondents; over the August 9 governorship election in Osun State before Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime-led Election Petition Tribunal, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is joined as the 3rd respondent.
At the beginning of the hearing of the matter on Monday, 10th November, 2014 the petitioners’ counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN) sought to tender non-certified duplicates of form EC8 series along with Certified True Copies (CTC).
The counsel was however challenged by Aregbesola’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), who objected to the tendering of the duplicate from the bar, saying it was against the provision of the Electoral Act.
The counsel said he had no issue with CTC being tendered from the bar, but there is no provision of the Electoral Act that support tendering of non-certified duplicate document from the bar.
He argued that such documents could only be tendered through witnesses that would be in the witness box for cross-examination on the documents.
Counsel to the APC, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and counsel to the INEC, Ayotunde Ogunleye aligned with the submission of Aregbesola’s counsel, saying, the provision of Evidence Act should not be turned upside down.
In her ruling, the tribunal chairman said, as directed in the panel’s pre-hearing report, CTC document would be tendered by consent through the bar, while every other documents would be tendered through witnesses.