The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, on Thursday admitted documents from Counsels to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Oladipupo Adebutu, led by Goddy Uche, SAN, after changing the earlier mode of presentation which was in conflict with procedure rules.
Recall that Counsels to the respondents, namely: The All Progressives Congress, APC, Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on Tuesday raised objections against the failure of Counsels to the Petitioners to have presented envisaged undisputed documents through the bar before presenting same before the Panel, to allow all parties involved in the case to verify and authenticate, as stipulates by procedure rules.
It was at that point that the Tribunal mandated PDP’s counsels to go back and allow other parties in the case to scrutinize and authenticate those documents to he tendered and come back today to represent.
After complying with this directive, the documents were, therefore, admitted provisionally by the Tribunal, in response to the observation of one of the Counsels to the Respondents, who hinted the Tribunal of possibility of objections to some of the documents tendered by Petitioner’s Counsels.
However, while the proceedings were still on, and documents still being tendered and admitted, some media outlets mischievously reported that all documents brought by Adebutu’s team had been admitted. Therefore a Counsel to one of the Respondents called the attention of the Tribunal to this misinformation describing it as propaganda about the proceedings of the panel. The lead counsel to the Petitioners was thereafter advised to warn his clients and their supporters against misleading the general public through sensationalized stories in the media.
Meanwhile, all parties agreed in principle that all documents should be admitted by the panel and objection should come in their final addresses, as the Counsel to the Petitioner, Goddy Uche SAN guided the court to allow him to call all his schedules out one by one and be marked in the court while the Panels read confirmation to the court at the next sitting to ensure all documents are formally handed and presented to the court.
To that end, the first 126pages were called and agreed to by 1st, 2nd and 3rd Counsels to the Respondents’ claiming to reserve comments till later date, as Petitioners’ lead Counsel, Goddy Uche SAN informed the court in the process of the marking, that he already has his witnesses set and filed for the day.
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