By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 closed his defence before the Osun state Election Petition Tribunal after calling 18 witnesses to defend his victory in the August 9 governorship election.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore and his party are challenging the victory of Aregbesola of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 17 of the 30 local government areas of the state.
Closing his defence before Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime-led tribunal, Aregbesola’s counsel, Mr. Kunle Adegoke called two witnesses on Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 thus making a total of 19 witnesses called by the first respondent.
Aregbesola who is the first respondent in the petition spent eight days out of the ten statutory days for his defence.
Consequently, APC, the second respondent is expected to open its defence on Friday, 19th December, 2014.
The first witness called by Aregbesola, a canopy maker, Mr. Aminulahi Rafiu Ayodabo admitted that 411 voters were on queue before voting commenced at Ward 4, Unit 9 in Ede North Local Government area of the state revealing that total votes cast was 413.
With this revelation, Ayodabo who was led in evidence by Adegoke has established Omisore’s case of over-voting in Ede North.
Counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Nathaniel Oke had cross-examined Aregbesola’s witness on Exhibit 191, which is the result sheet of the election before Ayodabo admitted that the number of votes cast was higher than the number of accredited voters by two.
The second witness called by Aregbesola’s counsel, Mr. Atanda Isaac from Ward 1, Unit 1, Irepodun Local Government Area said the election was peaceful but noted that there was no neutral observer at his ward.
Atanda, who was the APC party agent at his ward said while led in evidence by the first respondent that the election results were not mutilated. But when cross examined by Oke, he changed his position saying the election results were mutilated.
Meanwhile, counsel to the second respondent, Mr. Ajibola Bashiru has said that APC was ready to open its defence on Friday, 19th December, 2014.