November 19, 2014

Osun Tribunal Voters were accredited and voted —PDP scribe

By Gbenga Olarinoye

OSOGBO—Osun State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Mr Bola Ajao yesterday told the Election Petition Tribunal in Osogbo that voters were allowed to be accredited and voted freely in the August 9 governorship election.

He stated this before the tribunal while giving evidence at the continued hearing of the petition filed by Senator Iyiola Omisore and his party, PDP, against the re-election of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress APC.

Under cross examination  by Aregbesola’s counsel, Chief Charles Edosonwan, the APC Counsel, Chief Yomi Aliu and the INEC counsel, Mr Ayotunde Ogunleye, Ajao who was the petitioners’ first witness, said his claim as to the alleged rigging of the election were not witnessed by him, adding, “I was told by my party agents”.

Responding to questions by Edonsonwan, he said: “I got to my Ward 8, unit 9 of Ifelodun Local Government at about 6:30am on the election day, accreditation started by 8am and voting started at about 12:30pm.

“I pass through the same process and I voted on that dat. I did not leave my unit until after the election. My party lost in my polling unit. My testimonies on other units that our party is challenging are based on what I was told by my agents. I was not there.”

“Omisore contested for a senatorial slot in 2011, but lost along with other candidates of the party. We did not challenge the election in court. I don’t know the number of polling units we are challenging”.

While being cross-examined by the INEC counsel, Ajao said he followed all the processes required from accreditation to voting, adding that after accreditations, people were allowed to vote.

Also answering question from APC counsel, the witness confirmed to the tribunal that all the result sheets for each of the local governments in contention were signed by PDP supervisors on the election day.

The second and third witnesses, Mr Kolapo Sikiru and Gbadebo Adeyemo, who claimed to be PDP ward supervisors in Ward 1 and Ward 2 of Osogbo local government respectively, confirmed that their polling agents signed the result forms for each of the units except few.

Contrary to his claim that the result sheets of unit 2,3,4 and 5 of Ward 2, were not signed by his party agent, as deposed to in his witness statement, Gbadebo was confronted with the duplicate result for the units that were tendered by the petitioners’ counsel which bore the signature of the agents and the witness was dumbfounded.

Meanwhile, at a point, there were altercations between counsel to the petitioners and the first respondents, as the former accused the latter of interjecting the cross-examination of the witnesses at the detriment of the 20 minutes permitted to cross-examine the witness.

The intervention of the tribunal judges bring the altercations under control.