Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Wednesday, closed his defence in support of his victory during the August 9 governorship election in the state
It would be recalled that INEC declared Aregbesola and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the election, defeating Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But Omisore and PDP rejected the results of the election and challenged the victory of Aregbesola before the state Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime.
Announcing the closure of the defence on Wednesday, Aregbesola’s counsel, Kunle Adegoke, said his client is satisfied with the defence put up before the panel.
The counsel, as at the time of closing the defence, spent only eight out of the statutory 10 days allowed him to defend the allegations of the petitioners.
He called 19 witnesses in defence of the allegations of the petitioners and their witnesses before the tribunal.
The second respondent, the APC, has been billed to open its defence on Friday, December 19.
The APC counsel, Ajibola Basiru, said the witnesses called by the first respondents were to further convince the court that the election was indeed free and fair, saying, the petitioners have not proved any case.
He said, “We are not under any obligation to even call a particular number of witnesses because the petitioners have not called witnesses to cover areas pleaded in the petition, and secondly, their witnesses have been thoroughly discredited under cross-examination.
“The petitioners have also not established the case of non-compliance. From experience, this is one of useless election petitions I have ever seen in the history of this country”, he said.
The petitioners’ counsel, Nathaniel Oke, said it is for the tribunal to determine the veracity of the allegations of the petitioners and the defence of the respondents.
Earlier, Aregbesola’s counsel had called two witnesses, Aminulahi Rafiu, a voter from Ward 4, Unit 9 of Ede North Local Government Area and Atanda Isaac, an APC party agent at Ward 1, Unit 1 of Irepodun Local Government Area, who told the tribunal that the election was free and fair.
Source: Daily Independent