Election Petition Tribunal Resumes Sitting In Kwara State
The Kwara State Branch Controller of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Mr. Bamidele Amode has said he is yet to receive the original copies of the subpoena from the Lagos headquarters of the Council.
He stated this on Thursday when he appeared as the star witness in the Kwara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Tribunal had on Thursday resumed to begin full hearing in the petition of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Razaq Atunwa challenging the declaration of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as the governor of the state.
Naija News recalls the PDP and Atunwa had accused the governor of presenting a forged certificate.
However, after Amode’s statement, the PDP counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN) requested the tribunal to step down the case for Amode to present evidence of the subpoena.
Rowland Otaru, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) however objected to the application, insisting that it amounted to a needless waste of time by the petitioners.
He submitted that the petitioners had about three weeks since the tribunal adjourned to get the WAEC representative to appear before the tribunal to prove its case but waited till June 9 to serve the subpoena.
He added that the petitioners should rather call another witness if it has a case to prove rather than ask for an adjournment.
Counsel to AbdulRazaq, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN) and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Akin Olujimi (SAN) agreed with Otaru’s position.
Chief Olujimi said that “the application is very strange to the extreme. This is the first time I will hear counsel making such an application. What l am familiar with is if the bench is tired or has some other engagement to deal with, certainly, not a discretion vested in any counsel to stop his witness midway and ask the court to step down it down to another day.
“The application is a clear evidence of lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the petitioners. Today’s date for hearings has been fixed a long time ago.”
Otaru’s application was however granted by the ruling that the petitioners were still within their time limit of four days to argue their case.
Thereafter, the tribunal adjourned proceeding till Friday.