The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday tendered election results it issued for the July 16 Osun state governorship election before the tribunal sitting in Osogbo, the state capital
INEC commenced its defence against the petition filed by former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress, APC, challenging the declaration of Governor Ademola Adeleke as winner of the July 16 election in the state.
Oyetola and APC closed their case on Saturday, December 3.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday counsel to the first respondent, INEC, Paul Ananaba, SAN, disclosed that he has before the tribunal, schedule of witnesses the commission intended to call, schedule of documentary evidence, which include forms EC8A series, EC8B series, EC8 C, D and E.
He also informed the court that he has schedule of Bimodal Voter accreditation System (BVAS) and Bimodal Voter accreditation System (BVAS) machine to be tendered as exhibit before the court.
Counsel to Ademola Adeleke, Niyi Owolade and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nathaniel Oke, did not object to the schedules sought to be tendered.
However, counsel to the petitioners, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, disclosed that though, he has no any objection to the admissibility of schedule of witnesses and forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, D and E series, but said the schedule should have been arranged in such a way that it allows for easy marking as exhibits.
He also opposed the tendering of columns 7 and 8 of the schedule of BVAS machine on the ground that the petitioners have not seen nor examined the said machines.
His words; “In principles, we are not opposed to tendering schedules of witnesses, EC8A, EC8B series, EC8C, D, E. My observation, however, is that a column should have been created for marking the document as exhibit, else, it going to be tedious marking the documents.
“But in respect of BVAS machine, we have not examine it and it cannot be subject of tendering. You will also observe that in the schedule dealing with BVAS there are 8 columns there, the last two dealing with accreditation on EC8A, physical inspection on accreditation on BVAS are matters of evidence which they have produced and which we have not had the opportunity of examining it. It cannot form the basis of part of the schedule”.
Responding, Ananaba, said, “what we have done is to present what we intend to do, we do not have to get the permission from the petitioners on how to present our case. It is mere observation and it should be noted”.
The Justice Tertse Kume-led panel then proceeded on recess for 4 hours 45 minutes, during which an INEC trucks with equipments that appear like BVAS machines was drove into the court and parked in front of the tribunal around 4:15pm.
The panel reconvened at about 4:45pm to admit the listed documents on the schedules.
Fagbemi, SAN, however raised issue of fundamental procedural error, saying INEC counsel only sought to tender the schedules not the contents which was admitted even without the petitioners examining same, he urged the court to vacate it order admitting the documents, a position that was not objected by counsels to INEC, Adeleke and PDP.
Justice Kume, thereafter vacated the order admitting the contents of the schedule. Ananaba then applied to tender the contents of the schedules, which include the election results, before the court.
Fagbemi then stated that the petitioners reserved their objection and the grounds till the final address stage as agreed at the pre-hearing conference.
The panel Chairman, adjourned till Wednesday, December 21 for continuation of hearing.