The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced plans to close its defence on Wednesday as the first defendant in the petition by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last governorship election in Ekiti State, Kolapo Olusola.
Olusola and PDP are challenging the outcome of the June 14 governorship election held in Ekiti this year, which INEC said was won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi.
INEC’s lawyer, Charles Edosomwan (SAN) told the Ekiti State Governorship Election Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, that he intends to close his client’s defence on Wednesday.
INEC, APC and Fayemi are listed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents in the petition by the PDP and Olusola.
On Tuesday, Edowomwan tendered certified true copies (CTC) of results from some registration centres in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti South West, Emure and Ilejemeje Local Government Areas of Ekiti State.
Lawyers to the APC and Fayemi – Aking Olujinmi (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) did not object to the tendering of the results contained in Forms EC40G.
Lawyer to the petitioners, Rowland Otaru (SAN) objected to the admission of the results, but said he would give reasons for his objection at the stage of address.
Tribunal’s Chairman, Suleiman Belgore admitted the copies of the results as exhibits.
At a point Edosomwan sought an adjournment to enable him get more copies of the results, which he said would be brought from Ekiti today (Wednesday.
He said he intends to close the 1st defendant’s case on Wednesday after tendering the next set of results.
Otaru, Olujinmi and Fagbemi did not object to Edosomwan’s request for adjournment, following which Justice Belgore adjourned to 12noon on Wednesday.
INEC has called about 16 witnesses since it opened its defence on November 5. INEC and the other respondents are each allocated 10 days present its case.
The petitioners, who were allocated 14 days, called about 71 witnesses and tendered documentary evidence from October 17 when they opened their case.
At the conclusion of INEC’s defence, it would be the turn of APC to present its defence, following which the tribunal will invite Fayemi to also present his defence.