Ogun tribunal admits BVAS reports, others as ‘exhibits’ against Governor Abiodun


The Ogun State governorship election petition tribunal on Thursday admitted the reports of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and other documents as evidence against Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Uba Group

The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the state, Ladi Adebutu in a petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023 is challenging the victory of Abiodun based on alleged non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the election.

Adebutu, through his counsel, Goddy Uche (SAN) tendered the BIVAS reports, INEC results, and other documents, totaling 8,000 before the three-man Tribunal.

Uche had on Tuesday presented the documents before tribunal and prayed the court to admit them as “exhibits” against Abiodun.

The tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, had asked the legal team of the PDP and Adebutu, to allow the legal team of the APC and the INEC to scrutinise documents that they want to tender to the tribunal before tendering such to the panel.

The tribunal’s directive followed an attempt by the petitioners’ legal team to present over 8,000 documents to the panel to prosecute its case.

The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Hamidu Kunaza, gave the directive following objections of the respondents’ counsel to an attempt by the petitioners’ team to tender the documents as evidence for the prosecution of their case.

At the resumption of the hearing on Tuesday, Uche stated the readiness of his team to formally commence trial immediately, adding that they have filled the list of their schedule of documents before the panel, and have also physically brought all the said documents before it.

Consequently, the counsel to INEC, which is the first respondent, Remi Olatubora (SAN), in his objection on the point of law, cautioned the move to commit such blunder, as he said, while his team was ready to move on with the case, it is always imperative for the petitioner to have shown the documents to all the parties before then, insisting that he had not seen the document for authentication.

Olatubora further said he owes his client the duty to confirm and certify that those documents actually emanated from INEC, and accordingly scrutinise it.

In the same vein, counsel to the second respondent(Governor Dapo Abiodun), Kehinde Ogunwunmiju (SAN), stated that going by the volume of the documents and in line with procedure rules, which remain always sacrosanct, the over 6,000 documents ought to have been presented from the bar earlier for the benefit of the parties to view and confirm its validity.

Ogunwunmiju also informed the tribunal that the PDP’s counsel had accordingly followed the procedure rules in a similar case involving the duo in Ebonyi State, but decided to act otherwise in Ogun State.

He stressed that the parties needed more time to check and authenticate the documents, arguing that 24 hours might not be feasible and realistic to scrutinise the voluminous documents, as he also called for the list of witnesses at least 24 hours before the commencement of the case, “in which PDP also failed to comply.”

Corroborating the positions of the counsel to the first and the second respondents, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), who represented the third respondent (APC), submitted that: “We have to look at the documents. The tribunal has the responsibility to ensure that the needful is done. These are very serious and strategic documents. They should have invited us to come and view them.

“I adopt the submissions of the first and second respondents accordingly that all the undisputed documents should be admitted from the bar. For documents to be undisputed, such must have been seen by all parties involved in the case. These documents have been sought for many months. We should not be railroaded to the admittance of documents. I urge Your Lordship to give us reasonable time to inspect them.”

He subsequently prayed the court to grant two days’ leave for proper scrutiny of the documents.

Ruling on the arguments, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice H.N. Kunaza agreed with the respondents’ counsel.

The tribunal said: “We cannot force them to admit documents they have not seen. All of you should look at the documents.”


The tribunal’s chairman, therefore, granted the parties two days to thoroughly scrutinise the documents accordingly, as the case was adjourned till July 6 for the continuation of the hearing.