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Osun: Oyinlola begins defence

By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola Wednesday began the defence of his 2007 gubernatorial election in the petition filed against him by the Action Congress, AC, governorship candidate, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

At the resumed sitting yesterday, Governor Oyinlola called three witnesses out of the 477 witnesses he listed.

Mr. Joshua Obadare and Deacon Dele Amasa who were among the first three witnesses called by Governor Oyinlola and the PDP told the tribunal under cross-examination that the Certified True Copies, CTC, of voters’ registers for their respective units which did not contain their names could not have been the ones used on election day.

“My Lord, the presiding officer on the election day checked my name in the register. He confirmed that it was there and I was accredited. However, in this copy they (AC) have brought to court, I am surprised my name is not there. This is my voter’s card. That register could not have been the one used during the election,” Obadare informed the tribunal.

Amasa in his own testimony also showed the tribunal his voter’s card which he used in voting on that day, declaring that he would not know why a register would be brought by the AC that would not contain his name.

Both of them were accused in Aregbesola’s petition of violent activities on election day but they denied the allegation vehemently.

There was a hot argument between counsel to Governor Oyinlola, Mr Kemi Pinhero, SAN, and that of Aregbesola, Mr. Deji Sasegbon, SAN, over an attempt by the latter to make the judges look at a  CTC of voters’ register on which he was examining another witness of Oyinlola, Chief Joshua Ogunleye.

Pinhero objected saying that Sasegbon could not drag the tribunal into the cross-examination by asking them to observe documents already admitted as exhibits by the tribunal. “What he wants to do is risky, hasty and pre-matured. He can ask the court to look at the document in his final address, not at this stage,” Pinhero said.

Sasegbon, however, countered that what he wanted to do was to shake the credibility of the witness through the document citing section 200 of the Evidence Act.

In its ruling, the tribunal through its Chairman, Justice Ali Garba held that Sasegbon could not ask the tribunal to look at the document at the cross-examination stage, explaining that he could do so in his final address.

The witness, Ogunleye, also vehemently denied voting twice or engaging in any violent activity on election day. The three witnesses called all came from Atakumosa West Local Government.


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