Metro

Osun Tribunal Admits Omisore’s Ballot Papers

The Election Petitions Tribunal hearing matters arising from August 9 governorship election in Osun State on Tuesday admitted the ballot papers used in the conduct of the election.

The tribunal, headed by Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, admitted the documents brought in sacks as evidence tendered by the petitioner, Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party. However, he reserved ruling on their admissibility until the judgment stage.

The tribunal had subpoenaed the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state to produce original ballot papers used in the 17 local government areas under dispute.

The materials were brought in 10 pick-up vans on Monday and the lead counsel for the petitioner, Dr. Alex Izinyon ( SAN), called the United States-based forensic data analysis expert, Mr. Pius Bakare, who tendered the documents.

Izinyon also tendered the photocopy of the subpoena issued by the same tribunal through the expert witness who was Petitioner Witness 38 in the case.

He said, “I seek to tender in bulk the original ballot papers and the subpoena issued by the tribunal to produce the documents.”

The counsel tendered four sacks containing original ballot papers from Ilesa East Local Government Areas.

The two counsel argued that the content of the sacks was not known and Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), insisted that the sacks must all be emptied and the ballot papers used in hundreds of polling units be inspected one by one before he would know whether to urge the panel to accept or reject the documents.

The tribunal appealed to the respondents to tender the documents in bulk, saying it would be impossible to open all the sacks and check each of the ballot papers used for the poll.

After agreeing, Olujinmi, who represented Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ( SAN), raised objection to the admissibility of the documents.

Olujinmi argued that the witness had no connection with the subpoena, which the petitioner wanted to tender through him and that the document was a certified true copy.

The former Attorney General of the Federation also objected to the admissibility of the original ballot papers.

He argued that the witness was not competent to tender them from the bar because he was not the one who authored them.

 

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