The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has closed its case in the petition filed by APC candidate, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, against the victory of Gov. Seyi Makinde of PDP in the March 9 governorship election in Oyo State.
INEC’ s counsel, Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), closed the case on Tuesday after calling only one witness in the petition before the Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Kehinde told the tribunal that he was closing his case because INEC had discharged its burden of proof on the matter based on the evidences of his witness and petitioners’ witnesses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC only called Mrs Kehinde Aderike, an INEC staff who was the Electoral Officer in Ibadan South East Local Government during the election.
The tribunal led by Justice Muhammed Sirajo called on Makinde’s counsel, Mr Ahamefula Ejelam (SAN), to open his case.
Ejelam told the tribunal that he did not envisage that INEC would only call one witness and close his case.
He told the tribunal that his witnesses were coming from different local governments in Oyo State and that he needed time to contact them.
Ejelam prayed the tribunal to adjourn the case till Thursday for him to open his case and an adjournment was consequently granted by the tribunal.
Earlier, Aderike, who was INEC’s only witness, had told the tribunal during cross examination by Ejelam that there was no report of polling units not getting election materials during the governorship election.
She also told the tribunal that she ensured that the election went on smoothly as an electoral officer.
NAN reports that Adelabu and his party, APC, had earlier called their witnesses and closed their case in the petition.
NAN also reports that the other respondents in the matter were PDP and INEC.