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Oyo Governorship: Tribunal Rejects PDP’s Evidence

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The Oyo Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital rejected two documents presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday. The documents were meant to boost the party’s claims that the Oyo State Governor and candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the April, 2011 elections holds dual citizenship.
The documents presented by Nathaniel Oke (SAN), the PDP;s lead counsel included a letter written by PDP’s counsel to the Minister of External Affairs, requesting for a document on Ajimobi’s alleged dual citizenship and the ministry’s reply.

The presentation of the documents later resulted in an argument between Oke and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) who is the counsel to the Governor.

While the petitioner’s counsel prayed the tribunal to accept the documents as exhibits E and F, arguing that they were connected to certain documents listed in the petition, Akeredolu argued that the letters were not admissible since they were not covered by the pleading before the tribunal and there was no reference to them in the petition.

He observed before the tribunal that the documents were made on August 22, during the pendency of the petition, when the filing of the petition had elapsed.
He also stated that the presentation of the documents was against Section 91, Sub-section 3, of the Evidence Act.

Ahmed Raji, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) too affirmed that the documents were not admissible since they were not listed in the petition.

The tribunal adjourned till October 10 for adoption of written addresses after all the counsels had closed their cases.
The tribunal’s sitting was followed by a violent clash between supporters of the PDP and the ACN. Weapons were freely used and scores of people were injured in the melee. It took the intervention of policemen from nearby divisions to disperse the two factions.

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