The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the October 2020 governorship election in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, on Wednesday abruptly closed their case before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in the state.
The PDP and Jegede have initially listed 400 witnesses and other exhibits before the tribunal while they had requested for additional nine days to defend their case before the court.
Counsel to the petitioners, Onyechi Ipeazu said the petitioners is no longer interested in calling other 399 witnessed aside Jegede who was in the witness box on Tuesday.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Charles Edosomwan prayed the court for more time to further study the petitions and be able to open their defence, while Counsels to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor Rotimi Akeredolu, Lateef Fagbemi and Akin Olujimi did not oppose the prayer of INEC.
However, a member of the PDP in the state, attributed the decision of PDP and Jegede to withdraw from calling more witnesses to the intractable crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
According to the party leader, who confided in some newsmen outside the Court premises, said the fresh twist was not unconnected with the crisis rocking the party, and expressed regrets that the leadership of the party allowed the crisis to fester to the extent of adversely affecting the case at the Tribunal
He said “We are in a serious situation as at now because there is no way out for us to call witnesses who were not part of the suit initially. They are already on the records of the Tribunal.
“If you recall, a particular star witness is among those suspended by the party and 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 it more dangerous for us to now know who to trust.”
Further hearing however, has been adjourned till next Tuesday 19th January, 2020, to enable the first respondent, INEC open evidence in rebuttal.