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Ogun Tribunal Finally Admits PDP’s Witness Video As Exhibit

Adebutu is challenging the March 18th governorship election that returned APC's Governor Dapo Abiodun as the winner.


A file photo of a court gavel.
A court gavel.

 

The Ogun State Election Petitions Tribunal has ruled on the admissibility of video evidence tendered by a star witness of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sunkanmi Oyejide.

Lawyers on Wednesday had engaged in serious arguments when the witness, Sunkanmi Oyejide, tendered video evidence in the petition filed by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Ladi Adebutu.

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Adebutu is challenging the March 18th governorship election that returned Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner.

Having called over 90 regular witnesses, Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, called Oyejide, as one of his star witnesses.

While being led in evidence on Wednesday, Oyejide tendered some documents, including video evidence, which the petitioners vehemently objected to.

Arguments ensued when the said star witness tendered video evidence of thugs disrupting voting in some polling units in the state and document translating words in the video from Yoruba to the English Language.

Remi Olatubora, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, counsel to Abiodun and Onyechi Ikpeazu of the APC in their separate submissions kicked against the video evidence, asking the tribunal not to admit the same.

Olatubora described the documents as ‘cancerous’, saying the video is hearsay and should not be admitted by the court.

He quoted Oyejide as having said that the videos were downloaded from Channels Television and Arise Television websites, saying they were not reliable.

While reacting, Uche said the tribunal needs to admit the document before it could determine whether it is hearsay or not.

The PDP lawyer maintained that the respondents ought to reserve their objections till final addresses as stated in the prehearing report.

He urged the court to discountenance the objections of the respondents and admit the video evidence, which was to be played in court.

The tribunal, after listening to the arguments of the petitioners and the respondents, reserved ruling till Thursday.

As the court resumed, the panel led by Justice Hamidu Kunaza said the video evidence would be admitted as it found strength in the submissions of the petitioners.

The petitioners’ counsel prayed the court to allow the witness to play the video as demonstrative evidence in the court.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Hamidu Kunaza ruled that the video be played and the video was thereafter played in court as permitted by the Tribunal.