Friday, June 14, 2019 5:03 pm
The Chairman of Election Petition Tribunal in Kwara, Justice Bassey Effiong on Friday fixed July 9, to enable the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Governorship candidate, Razak Atunwa to produce their witnesses.
The PDP is challenging the declaration of Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the allegation that the governor allegedly presented a forged certificate.
The tribunal said that the adjournment was to enable a representative of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to present his subpoena.
The tribunal had earlier adjourned to Thursday for full hearings to begin in the PDP petition.
However, the WAEC branch controller for Kwara, Waheed Amode, who appeared on subpoena by the PDP, told the tribunal that he was yet to receive copies of the subpoena from the Lagos headquarters of the body.
Justice Effiong gave the order, after PDP counsel, Abdulwahab Bamidele requested the tribunal to stand down the case for the WAEC official to arrive from Lagos, by 3 p .m. and present evidence of the subpoena.
The tribunal said that the petitioner still have two days, July 9 and 10 and that, they should not be step down.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rowland Otaru. objected to the application, saying that there is no sincerity in the application.
“My learned colleague, Paul Erokoro said yesterday, that the subpoena was sent by Courier service, in the presence of everybody in court, it means that the petitioner lack the truth, and so, they should dismiss their petition.
Otaru said that there are lots of things to be done, and the petitioners are wasting time, which he said was an act of unseriousness.
Counsel to AbdulRazaq, Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN, and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Akin Olujimi aligned with the INEC’s position, insisting the application was not sincere.
Kalejaiye said that a witness was called on Thursday, and the reason given to court was that the document was sent through courier.
“My Lord, this morning, they are no longer talking about the witness they wanted to call on Thursday. They are now saying that the witness they are waiting for missed his flight and had to travel by road.
”Clearly, this is a manifestation of unpreparedness and lack of seriousness on the part of the counsel
“As counsel, he should know that the court does not wait for witnesses or counsel, and asking the tribunal to wait till 3 pm is unfair,” he said.
Kalejaiye and Olujimi therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the application, alternatively and adjourn the petition until July 9 and July 10.