The legal teams representing the petitioners and respondents in the Election Petition Tribunal, which is considering issues related to the Osun governorship election on July 16, reached an understanding on Tuesday regarding the procedure to be used when hearing the petition. The lead attorney for Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the All Progressives Congress, who are the petitioners, Mr. Lasun Sanusi (SAN), who appeared with Dr. Abiodun Layoonu (SAN), Prof. Kayode Olatoke (SAN), and Mr. Yomi Aliu, informed the panel of the agreement already reached by both parties regarding the procedure that the sitting would follow. The counsels agreed that the panel should sit beginning at 10 am every Monday through Friday.

Sanusi further stated that the cross-examination of witnesses would take 10 minutes, and that the time allotted for re-examination would be 5 minutes. According to him, expert witnesses would be heard for 15 minutes, followed by a 20-minute cross-examination and a five-minute re-interview of the same witness. The petitioners’ lawyer said the counsels have agreed that evidence should be tendered by consent, and in the case of objection, the ruling would be reserved till the judgement stage.

Responding, counsel for the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Paul Ananaba (SAN), that of Senator Ademola Adeleke, the second respondent in the matter, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), and the counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party, the third respondent, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN), all agreed to the procedure for the trial announced by the petitioner’s counsel.

They claimed to have submitted responses to the pre-hearing documents the tribunal had served on them. While speaking to the panel individually, Izinyon and Ogunwumiju claimed that since the petitioner’s attorney had not submitted his pre-trial form to the tribunal, the document should be regarded as abandoned. However, Sanusi refuted the accusation that he hadn’t adopted his form while responding and requested the panel to disregard it.

Izinyon alerted the panel to the decision of an Abuja court that had invalidated the rationale for the tribunal’s establishment and stated that he had two motions before the tribunal. He also disclosed plans to make an oral application. But Justice Tertsea Kume, the panel’s chair, instructed him to submit a formal application, and with the consent of the attorneys, he postponed the meeting to October 13 in order to hear all pre-trial applications. They asserted that they had provided responses to the pre-hearing materials that the tribunal had placed on them.

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