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Oni, INEC urge tribunal to dismiss fayemi’s petition

Posted by By Our Reporter on 2008/07/22 | Views: 1803 |

Oni, INEC urge tribunal to dismiss fayemi’s petition


Counsel to Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, Mr Adebayo Olanipekun, (SAN) and his Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) counterpart Mr. Adebayo and Mr. Roland Otaru (SAN) has prayed the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti to dismiss the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in the April 14, 2007 election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, just as they protested the alleged tampering of the tribunal exhibits by two AC lawyers.

Counsel to Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, Mr Adebayo Olanipekun, (SAN) and his Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) counterpart Mr. Adebayo and Mr. Roland Otaru (SAN) has prayed the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti to dismiss the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC) in the April 14, 2007 election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, just as they protested the alleged tampering of the tribunal exhibits by two AC lawyers.

In their final written addresses, both Governor Oni and INEC urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being, "unmeritoriuos and lacking in merit" on the grounds that "the petitioner failed to substantiate his allegations of electoral malpractices as required by law.

In his own submission, counsel to INEC noted that only 19 polling agents gave evidence on behalf of the petitioner.
"In Ekiti, we have 2,175 polling units and the petitioner called only 19 polling agents and four registered voters gave evidence in respect of the 2,175 polling units. It is, therefore, my humble submission that the allegations of over-voting, no voting at all and multiple voting in some polling units have not been proved beyond reasonable doubt in the totality of cases they have cited.

"The petitioner is duty bound to call witnesses in each polling units where they alleged that there were no voting or over voting as it is criminal offence, which must be proved beyond reasonable doubt."
On the allegation of non-substantial compliance raised in the petition, Otaru noted that it cannot be proved as it is an element of criminality.

Pointing out irregularities in the AC petition and its submission, Mr. Adenipekun specifically noted that "the table of lawful votes on page 428 of the petitioner’s address is at variance with page 47 of their petition. The petitioner claimed that the respondent scored a total 68,058 lawful votes in its petition, while it contradicted itself by allocating a total of 65,473 lawful votes to the respondent in the final address. The petitioner also claimed that it scored a total of 72,591 lawful votes in the petition, while he also contradicted himself by claiming that it scored a total of 78,334 lawful votes in the final address.
"Once the evidence is at variance with pleading, then they cannot stand. Both must go."

Adenipekun also punctured the result of physical counting carried out by the petitioner, saying, "the petitioner first inspected the voting materials without the participation of the respondents.
The result of the physical counting contradicted the figure given by the petitioner’s forensic expert, Mr. Adrian Forty, who had inspected the voting materials before the physical counting exercise was carried out.
"In the case of these contradictions, the tribunal must rely on form EC8A."

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