From Ifedayo Sayo, Ado-Ekiti
THE Justice Bakar Hamma-led Ekiti Election Petitions Tribunal will today deliver its ruling on whether to admit in evidence an Action Congress (AC) membership card and polling agent identification belonging to a defence witness, Omodan Afolabi.
Afolabi, Defence Witness Number 5, had told the tribunal under cross-examination that he was an AC polling agent in Ipoti Ward B and was at the tribunal to give evidence in favour of the First Respondent, Governor Segun Oni, whose election in the April 25 rerun governorship election is being challenged.
The AC and its Governorship Candidate, Kayode Fayemi, are challenging Oni's victory at the rerun election.
Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Joe Gadzama (SAN) had asked Afolabi, who had adopted his written statement on oath, during cross-examination whether he voted in the election. The witness answered in the affirmative.
But when Gadzama moved to tender the witness' voter's card in evidence, Counsel to the Petitioners, Niyi Akintola (SAN), opposed it, arguing that the voter's card was not front-loaded or listed in line with the provisions of the practice directive.
Besides, Akintola argued that there was no reference to the assertion that Afolabi voted in his statement on oath, stressing that all the witness claimed in the statement was that he was an agent during the election.
After listening to the arguments, the tribunal upheld the objection.
Akintola also opposed Gadzama's attempt to tender Afolabi's membership card and polling agent identification on grounds that they were neither front-loaded nor specifically pleaded by the First Respondent, Oni.
After listening to all arguments, the tribunal rose for the day and adjourned ruling on the matter till today.
Meanwhile, the AC and the Ekiti state government yesterday differed on the achievements of the Oni-led administration in road construction in the last two years.
While the AC alleged that the "Road Revolution Programme" of the state government was a total failure, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Wale Lanre-Ojo accused the party of failing to appreciate Oni's good work.
The governor had listed 22 roads to be constructed under the programme shortly after he took office in 2007.
Appraising the programme, the AC, in the statement by its spokesman, Yemi Adaramodu said: "Shortly after the PDP army of occupation captured the State Government House in 2007, there was a promise of a road revolution and various extravagant flag-off ceremonies became the fashion.
"The state PDP regime coerced everyone, including traditional rulers, to prevail on a hesitant Assembly to appropriate huge sums of money for the phony revolution, ostensibly to accelerate the state infrastructure development.
"Two years after appropriation, the construction and rehabilitation of the roads on which these funds were raked had not yet taken off."
But the Ojo countered, saying: "As at today, this government has completed over 200 kilometres of roads while 500 kilometres are ongoing.
"For the first time in this state, solid roads are being constructed as against the ones the AC people constructed while in office, and it is only natural that jobless people, who now regard politics as a profession, would not see the roads.
"The political jobbers in the AC can never see the 13.2km Otun-Erinmope-Kwara border road, 10.5km Ita-Awure-Ido-Ile road, 29.1km Oke Ayedun-Ipao-Oke Ako, 20.1km Ido-Otun-Kwara State border road, 10km Omuo-Eda Ile roda and several other roads that were completed by this administration.
"The reality here is that they have never been taken serious by our administration because we know that what they desire is media relevance so as to guarantee the crumbs that they get daily from their money-miss-road sponsor."