By Gbenga Olarinoye
Governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in Osun State, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola yesterday tendered five additional extra-large Ghana-Must-Go bags of ballot papers used for the conduct of the election in Odo-Otin Local Government where his opponent, Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola hails from before the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal.
The result of the joint inspection of the CTC of ballot papers brought to court by Aregbesola showed that in almost all the wards in Odo Otin local government, multiple photocopy of the ballot papers were detected.
Aregbesolaâ€™s lead counsel, Chief Deji Sasegbon (SAN) had earlier informed the Tribunal that the inspection which it ordered last week went on smoothly but his submission was countered by Chief Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) who led the legal team of Governor Oyinlola and the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party (PDP) at the proceedings yesterday.
Oyetibo alleged that his team discovered that many of the ballot papers were inadvertently duplicated and certified by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stressing that the inspection had to be thoroughly carried out for another week.
Sasegbon quickly rose up and expressed surprise at Oyetiboâ€™s allegation of duplication which he described as a continuation of the certified copies of ballot papers.
He urged the Tribunal to discountenance Oyetiboâ€™s submission and allow the proceedings to go on while the inspection could be extended for four or five days.
He submitted that parties could continue â€œto argue and argue until Sacramento. The parties have signed up Odo-Otin Local Government. Their signatures are here and they are now singing new tunesâ€.
He then urged the Tribunal to allow proceedings to continue with his tendering of ballot papers for Odo-Otin Local Government which parties had signed up to while the inspection for Ife Central and those of other Local Governments could continue.
The Tribunal chairman, Justice Alli Garuba ruled that the inspection should continue till October 19, 2009.
After the ruling, Sasegbon applied to tender 885 ballot papers for Owode Market Square polling unit in Oba Ojomu Ward, Okuku which made Oyetibo to apply that the Registrar of the Tribunal should counter-check them and counter-sign so as to save the time of the court.