The governor election petition court in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, suspended proceedings earlier than expected on Tuesday when the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) was unable to produce more witnesses as scheduled.
The party’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche SAN, called a single witness, Ayinde Ridwan Olamilekan of Abeokuta, and expected to call two other witnesses from Odogbulu, but none of the scheduled witnesses came forward.
Chief Uche SAN informed the court that the vehicle transporting the two more witnesses to the courthouse broke down on the road and therefore prevented them from attending the proceedings, so he asked the court for an adjournment until tomorrow, which was granted accordingly.
In addition, considering the dismal response from the scheduled witnesses, the PDP, through their lawyer, has changed the scheduled date to close their case to Thursday, instead of the previously scheduled Friday. Meanwhile, Chief Uche SAN informed the Tribunal that today he had presented the Testimonial Statement of an Expert Witness, one Chief Reginald Udunze, as well as the Expert Report of said witness. He informed the Court that, as was the practice, he would like to give APC’s lawyers and Governor Abiodun time to examine these documents, as they had just been served.
Meanwhile, during the short trial, the only witness to appear before the panel to testify for the PDP, Ayinde Ridwan Olamilekan of Abeokuta South, was questioned by Governor Dapo Abiodun’s lawyer, Bode Olanipekun SAN.
During cross-examination, Ridwan stated that he did not remember the date he signed the statement he submitted to the court; that is, even when similarities were detected in his statement after being compared with others from different voting units.
Ridwan had claimed to be merely a voter and not a member or supporter of the PDP. However, during cross-examination, he revealed that when the events on election day occurred, he decided to report his version of events to the PDP district chair and the PDP lawyer. On why he decided to report his complaints during the exercise to the PDP lawyer when he is not a member of the political party and even wrote the statement he submitted to the panel at the PDP secretariat, the witness was unable to give any answer to the question as he continued to pretend not to understand the questions by asking the interrogating lawyers to “come back”. This claim became so rampant that the Court had to call in the PDP’s lawyer, Chief Uche SAN, to properly instruct Ridwan. It was only after Chief Uche instructed Ridwan that Ridwan began answering questions directly, most of which showed that he was a big supporter of the PDP, who was even phoned by the PDP district chairman on election day.