Osun guber: APC’s star witness gives evidence at tribunal as Oyetola withdraws two witnesses

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BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Uba Group

The All Progressives Congress, on Monday, presented its star witness, Isiaka Olanrewaju, who is the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on Research and Statistics to give evidence in the petition filed by Oyetola at the Osun State Governorship Petition Tribunal, challenging the result of the July 16 governorship election in the state.

At the resumed hearing of the matter before the Justice Tertsea Kume-led panel, the witness, who was led in evidence by the petitioners’ counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), told the tribunal that he established irregularities in the results used to declare the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ademola Adeleke, as the Governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

He said he came to that conclusion after analysing the result forms for the election and comparing them with the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System.

The witness added that he relied on forms EC8As, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D, EC8E and BVAS report released by INEC to arrive at his findings.

While cross-examining the witness, respondents’ counsels, Prof Paul Ananaba (INEC) Alex Iziyon, (PDP) and Onyechi Ikpeazu (Adeleke), brought to the notice of the court, among other issues, that Olanrewaju in his deposition, stated he (Olanrewaju) was an analyst for the second respondent (Adeleke) as opposed to the second petitioner (Oyetola).

Olanrewaju also contradicted himself on the time he secured the BVAs report as his deposition stated July 17, but he mentioned July 27.

He proceeded to admit that BVAS machines are the primary source of data for the election adding that the machines and their contents are superior to the BVAS report generated from the server.

The cross-examination became dramatic when the witness said he is the expert hired to analyse the results of the election in 749 units across 10 Local Government Areas of the state as against 762 units calculated by the defendants.

The star witness further stated that he got a letter of appointment to be a lead expert and coordinate the team in analysing the BVAS report and that he didn’t use form EC40 series in his report.

Meanwhile, Olujinmi made an oral application to drop the 3rd and 4th witnesses following his assessment of the proceedings.

Ananaba raised no objection but Iziyon argued that due process should be followed as laid down in the pre-hearing report which the tribunal ordered, stressing the withdrawal amounted to abandonment.

Ananaba then withdrew counter-application to to set aside the subpoena served him for the Resident Electoral commissioner to produce some credentials so as to fast track the trial.

To this end, the Justice Tertsea Kume-led tribunal panel adjourned hearing till Tuesday for presentation of more witnesses.

Addressing journalists after court sitting, Olujimmi said, “as regards the subpoena, we expect that the only obstacle as against it was the application filed on behalf of INEC against the subpoena but they withdrew that application today (Monday) which means the subpoena could be obeyed by INEC and then the officer we subpoened will appear in court by tomorrow (Tuesday) with those documents.”

Also speaking outside the court, Ananaba downplayed any indications of tension or animosity between the lawyers representing all parties in the suit, while Izinyon also told newsmen that his team remained resolute in seeing the proceedings through to the end.