The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the 28 March Lagos-West Senatorial election, Mr Segun Adewale also known as Aeroland on Friday testified before the election petition tribunal sitting in Lagos.
Aeroland is contesting the declaration of All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate Solomon Olamilekan Adeola as the winner of the election.
Led in evidence by his lawyer, Dr. Yemi Oke, Adewale insisted that he won the election and urged the court to declare him as winner.
His testimony was stalled as counsel to Solomon Adeola, APC and INEC objected to his lawyer’s attempt to tender his additional witness statement before the court.Opposing the admissibility of the statement, APC’s lawyer, Muiz Banire, insisted that the witness statement is a clever attempt by petitioner to amend the petition.
Banire argued that the additional witness statement is inconsistent with section 117 of the Evidence Act as it failed to disclose the trade or profession, residence and nationality of the deponent.
He urged the court to expunge the witness statement since it should have been filed along with the petition as stipulated by Evidence Act.
Counsel to Solomon Adeola and INEC aligned themselves with the submissions of Banire.
Responding to the objection, Adewale’s lawyer, Dr Oke argued that the sections of the Evidence Act cited in opposition to admission of his client’s additional statement is inapplicable as he did not intend to amend his petition.
He insisted that the document was to assist the court with additional facts that will help it to reach a just conclusion.
On the issue of omission of the deponent’s address, profession and nationality, Dr Oke noted that omission had been addressed with the oral evidence given by his client identifying himself and his occupation.
Ruling on the issue, members of the tribunal held that although the oral evidence given by the petitioner effectively cured the defect in the witness statement, the statement was made without the leave of court.
They consequently ruled that the witness statement dated May 5, be expunged from the processes before the court.
Immediately after the ruling, Dr. Oke again attempted to tender a letter sent to INEC by his client requesting for some electoral materials but met another opposition as other parties raised objection to the admissibility of the letter.
After another round of argument, members of the panel ruled that the letter was admissible since it was a public document.
The court then adjourned till Monday, 29 June for continuation of hearing.
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