In mild drama, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, failed to call 400 witnesses to testify in the petition he filed at the Ondo Election Petitions Tribunal seeking to nullify the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Jegede was the only witness that testified in the suit as his Counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu, shockingly announced that the petitioners were closing their case at the resumed hearing on Tuesday.
The tribunal had given Jegede and the PDP nine days to call the over 400 witnesses listed to testify.
But Ikpeazu informed the tribuna that they opted to narrow their case to the evidences presented before the court.
He stated that they were no longer interested in calling any other witnesses.
Counsel to INEC, Charles Edosomwan urged the court to give him time to further study the petitions.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Umar Abubakar, adjourned hearing to January 19, 2021 to enable the respondents open their defence.
However, sources in the Ondo PDP said the South West leadership crisis was responsible for the action at the Tribunal on Tuesday.
The sources said it was difficult for Jegede to call witnesses who were not part of the suit but they were on the records of the Tribunal.
He said one star witness was among party member recently suspended by the Ondo PDP.
According to the source, “You expect such a man to come and testify? He can only spill the case out of malice so we decided to leave them out in order not to get into more trouble.
“Across the State, several of the witnesses are supporters of the suspended party leaders and it makes more dangerous for us to now know who to trust,” he said.