By Tunde Oyekola
It was fun and laughter at the Osun State election petition tribunal Wednesday, as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) witnesses alleged that police officers posted to polling stations during the August 9 gubernatorial election in the state turned the voting exercise to merry making as they engaged in consumption of beer and light refreshment.
The three-man panel could not hide their emotions as they all fell into ecstatic laughter.
The counsels to the PDP had since Tuesday been calling witnesses before the tribunal to prove their case in challenging the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
However, the court broke into laughter when the eighth witness, Tajudeen Badmus, told the tribunal that policemen were eating puff-puff when under-age children were voting for APC on the day of the election.
This is just as one Sikiru Olalekan, who was the 10th witness, alleged that police officers were drinking beer at a restaurant and were not available to receive voter’s complaint during the election.
This development made the tribunal members to fall into uncontrollable laughter till the Chairman, Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime, said “they stepped the puff-puff down with beer.”
The witness, who claimed to be a former member of Education board, when cross-examined by 1st respondent’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), admitted that there was a restriction of movement on the election day, insisting that the restaurant was operating at the back of the polling station.
Also, another witness, who claimed to be a supervisor for ward 8, Olorunda Local Government, Akin Akande, alleged that he was forced by over 400 people to sign form EC8A.
During cross-examination by Falana, Akande denied that Dagbolu was far to Kolabalogun, insisting that all the 12 units in ward 8 were very near to each other and he covered them.
The witness however stated that Dagbolu, Steel rolling company and Kolabalogun were in the same ward and they were not far from each other.
Meanwhile, all voters’ register (form EC8A) tendered by PDP witnesses have been admitted and marked exhibits while their admissibility, following the objection raised by counsels to respondents, would be determined on the judgement day.