ACN, PDP, others agree to reduce witnesses in Ondo election petition

The parties in the petitions all agreed to the reduction. 

The parties before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure have agreed to reduce the number of witnesses to be called to prove their cases before the tribunal.

Speaking on behalf of other counsels, Adebayo Adenipekun, said the move was to ensure speedy adjudication over the petitions.

The Tribunal had at its resumed hearing on Wednesday advised the parties to deliberate on witnesses and documents to be admitted for the proper trial of the petitions.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Andovar Kaka’an, after calling the petitions, ruled that it would rise for one hour to allow the parties deliberate on how best to pursue the cases.

This led to the meeting of the counsels and parties to the petitions after which Mr. Adenipekun addressed the court on their decisions.

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He said the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had agreed to reduce its witnesses from 1700 to 850, while Governor Olusegun Mimiko also reduced the number of his witnesses from 2023 to 600 and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reduced from 147 to 13.

On the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olusola Oke, the petitioner reduced his witness from 271 to 130, the Labour Party (LP) reduced from 2500 to 1200, while Mr. Mimiko slashed his witnesses from 2224 to 1000 and INEC from 160 to 130.

Mr. Adenipekun also said that the parties had agreed to sort the INEC’s document to be used for the prosecution of the petitions before they were admitted by the registry of the tribunal.

He, however, said in order not to make the process unnecessarily rowdy, parties had agreed that only 2 lawyers would represent each of the parties during the sorting of the documents of INEC.

He said the parties were unable to agree on the time to give each of the witnesses to adopt their statement, to lead them, and to cross examine them.

The chairman of the tribunal adjourned the sitting to Friday to enable parties sort out the INEC documents and formulate issues for determination by the tribunal.

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