From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, adjourned to Wednesday November 23, 2022 for the lawyers of the petitioner and respondents to submit their written addresses to the tribunal as the second respondent (All Progressives Congress) (APC), and the fourth respondent, (Independent National Electoral Commission) (INEC) failed to present witnesses.
At the resumed hearing today, the lead counsel to the APC which is the second respondent, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) told the tribunal, “Having the evidence, oral and documented already placed before this tribunal, we have resolved it will not be necessary to call any witness for the second respondent”
In a response to Olujimi’s submission, the lead counsel to the petitioner, Mr Obafemi Adewale (SAN) retorted, ” Not to call any witness is entirely at the discretion of the learned counsel of the second respondent. We welcome their decision.”
The tribunal therefore ruled closing the defence case of the second respondent.
Mr S E Arunwan (SAN), the counsel to the former APC national caretaker chairman, Mai Mala-Buni, who is the third respondent, presented Hon. Oladipo Karounwi as principal witness of the third respondent.
While being cross examined by Mr Biodun Fasakin, counsel to the petitioner, Karounwi also admitted that
the Mala-Buni-led national caretaker chairman conducted the APC primaries that produced Biodun Oyebanji.
Meanwhile, Barr. Owoseni Ajayi, a counsel to the petitioner has reacted to the refusal of the fifth respondent, Mrs Monisade Afuye to appear before the tribunal to defend herself of the allegation of contesting Election with fake WAEC results as very bad and unbelievable.
Ajayi who addressed the press on Wednesday at the court premises said that the allegation was too weighty to be ignored by any responsible human being, stressing that her refusal to defend the allegation is nothing but admittance.
On Wednesday, Chief Lateef Fagbemi(SAN), the lead counsel to the first and fifth respondents, Mr Oyebanji and Mrs Afuye unexpectedly closed the defence of his client’s case as he abandoned calling other witnesses earlier listed for appearances at the tribunal.
The Social Democratic Party ( SDP) governorship candidate and former Ekiti State Governor, Asiwaju Segun Oni, who had filed petition at the tribunal challenging the victory of Oyebanji of the June 18 governorship election also included in his petition that Mrs Afuye the running mate of Oyebanji contested the election with fake WAEC results.