The Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday failed to defend the allegation levelled against it by the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement in the March 9 governorship election in Ogun State, Adekunle Akinlade that it allegedly awarded votes to the Governor of the state, Dapo Abiodun.
INEC told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, during the hearing of the petition filed by Akinlade against the victory of Abiodun, the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress, that it had no witnesses to call to counter Akinlade and his party, APM’s claim.
The Commission, who is the first respondent in the petition was expected to open its defence on Tuesday against Akinlade, who had accused it of awarding “illegal votes” to Abiodun during the election in the state.
The commission’s counsel, told the Justice Yusuf Halilu-led Tribunal that it would not call any witness against Akinlade and the APM.
The development prompted the Tribunal to ask the second respondent, Abiodun, to open his defence; but, his counsel begged the Tribunal for an adjournment on the ground that he was not prepared.
The Tribunal, therefore, adjourned the proceeding till Wednesday, July 10 for Abiodun to bring his witnesses to the Tribunal to begin his defence against Akinlade’s petition.