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KWARA ELECTION PETITION: ACN SUFFERS SETBACK

By NBF News
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Two election petitions of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday suffered major setback as the tribunal rejected documents sought to be tendered by the party. At the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, Justice Bitrus Sanga ruled in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party's candidate (PDP) for Kwara South Senatorial District, Senator Simeon Ajibola, whose election was being challenged by Anu Ibiwoye of the ACN.

ACN had sought to tender a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the voters' registration list used for the election but that was objected to by the PDP counsel, John Baiyeshia on the ground that the original document ought to have been tendered.

The tribunal, therefore, upheld the objection of Baiyeshia on the admissibility of the document and ruled that the document sought to be tendered was not admissible and marked document tendered but rejected and to be so marked.

Similarly, the tribunal also ruled in favour of the PDP in the petition brought by Kayode Olusona, the ACN candidate in the House of Representatives election, challenging the electoral victory Akeem Aiyedun of the PDP.

The petitioner (ACN) had earlier agreed to present forensic analysis of the ballot papers used but only tendered photocopies of the document, which the tribunal regarded as not admissible in evidence.

In his ruling, justice Sanga described the tendering of photocpies of the forensic report as an abuse of the court procedure.

In the case between Abdulfatah Salman of the PDP and Kayode Aiyelabegan of the ACN in the House of Assembly election, Afis Shehu, a witness of the ACN, who had alleged in his statement on oath that there were multiple thumb printing and stuffing of ballot boxes was later discovered to have lied on oath under cross-examination by the PDP counsel, Barrister Sikiru Sholagberu.

During cross-examination of the said witness, Sholagberu established that Afis Shehu was not at the polling unit 025 (Ayebansan polling unit) in Alanamu ward of Ilorin West Local Government where he claimed to have represented the ACN as a polling agent.

It was further discovered that the name and signature of Shehu was not in the ACN column of the returning agent's list for the election in contention.

Meanwhile, the PDP yesterday closed its defense at the governorship election tribunal after presenting 71 witnesses. The fourth respondent, (INEC) is expected to continue with the presentation of its witnesses tomorrow.