“Be Calm, Victory Will Soon Come Our Way”- Adelabu urges Supporters as Parties Adopt Final Written Addresses

The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State in the March 9 gubernatorial polls, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Friday, urged his supporters to be law-abiding and not to lose hope as he would be declared the winner of the election by the election petition tribunal.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adelabu said this at the tribunal after all parties adopted their final written addresses.

TheEcho reports that Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Adelabu with over 150, 000 votes at the polls.

Not satisfied with the outcome of the election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the former CBN Deputy Governor approached  the governorship election petition tribunal, alleging irregularities and lack of compliance with the Electoral Act.

Apart from Makinde, the PDP and the INEC are the other respondents in the case.

Adopting his final written address, the counsel to INEC, Akinolu Kehinde (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being grossly unmeritorious and lacking in substance.

Kehinde said that the petitioners erroneously put the burden of proof on INEC whereas the responsibility of proof lies on the petitioners.

Makinde’s counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said that the reliefs sought by the petitioners were faulty and evidences of the other witnesses not called amount to hearsay and urged the court to dismiss the petition.

Adopting his final written address, counsel to PDP, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition on the ground of inadequacy of evidence and for lacking in merit.

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But the counsel to Adelabu and APC, Yusuf Alli (SAN), urged the court to hold that the petition was meritorious and that other witness not called have their statement properly laid before the tribunal.

Alli said that under the law the number of witnesses called cannot override what had been properly laid before the tribunal.

According to him, cases were not won on the quantum of witnesses called but on the quality of testimony of the witnesses called, adding that the testimony of petitioners’ witness number 62 (PW62) speaks volume.

The Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Sirajo Muhammed, thanked all the counsels their cooperation and added that the judgement date would be communicated to them.

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