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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Omisore Reduces Witnesses At Osun Election Tribunal!


The ruling on the PDP application that all the objections raised by the 1st (Rauf Aregbesola) Respondent and 3rd (INEC) Respondent be heard together with the main petition was delivered today 4/11/2014 with the Tribunal ruling that they are inclined to hear the application together with the main petition.

After the ruling, the court called on the Petitioner to streamline issues in their petition. CHIEF Chris Uche SAN, learned counsel for the Petitioner was directed to submit the issues for determination which he claimed was not ready but that he will submit them on or before the close of work today. He however informed the court that they would be reducing their witnesses by half which is now 500 witnesses, while still saying they will file application for additional witnesses. The learned counsel for the petitioner changed his position on the issue of documents to be tendered from contention to tendering of all documents by cosent of the parties.

He proposed 5 minutes for cross- examination and 10 days for both 1st and 2nd Respondents since according to him, they are one and the same.

Chief Akin Olujinmi leading two other SAN and 22 other lawyers including Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Governor of Osun, in his own scheduling proposal, assured the court of his readiness to slash his own witnesses.

He informed the court that they are willing to tender by consent all 35 electoral documents duly certified by INEC while other listed document will be disputed as shown in paragraph 12 of Form TF008. On the 10days proposed for 1st and 2nd Respondent, Chief Olujinmi SAN referred the court to Paragraph 41 (10) of 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act which provides that each respondent shall have not more than 10 days to present its case. For cross examination, he proposed 20 minutes each for the witnesses because the court will be recording in long hand.

Kemi Pinhiero SAN for the 2nd Respondent aligned himself with the submission of the learned counsel for the 1st Respondent and add that the 20 minutes proposed for the witnesses should be relaxed for witnesses that need interpreters and the PDP’s additional witnesses.

Ayotunde Ogunleye Esq, counsel for INEC submitted that they have 18 witnesses of which they intend to call all. On document, he said INEC certified electoral document should be tendered by consent while others would be objected to. On cross examination, he proposed that star and expert witnesses should have at least 30 minutes while 20 minutes should be for other witnesses.

Chief Chris Uche SAN, learned counsel for the petitioner while contending that the respondents should be specific about number of witnesses to be called, the court countered by saying that counsel cannot dictate how a party should conduct his case.

The Tribunal finally ruled that parties should file their issues for determination on or before 5th November, 2014 and the court adjourned to 6th November,2014 for Scheduling order.

Ibrahim Lawal Esq,
SSA (Legal and Judicial Sector Reform) to the Governor, State of Osun.

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