Politics

Adebutu, PDP call 35 witnesses against Abiodun at Ogun tribunal

ad ladi adebutu and dapo abiodun

The governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu and his party have so far called about  35 witnesses out of 120 listed to testify against the victory of the state governor, Dapo Abiodun.

The witnesses testified before the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, led  by Justice Hamidu Kunaza in support of the  petition filed by Adebutu and his party against Abiodun

PDP and Adebutu in the petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023 are challenging the victory of Abiodun based on alleged non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the election.

At the hearing resumed on Wednesday, the lawyer to the petitioners, Gordy Uche (SAN) called five more witnesses who were voters, party agents, and members of the opposition party, from the Iperu-Remo in the Ikenne Local government area of the state.

They were cross-examined by Dr Remi Olatubora, (SAN) representing the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Taiwo Osipitan, (SAN) for Abiodun, and Muiz Banire, (SAN) for the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The witnesses are ;  Abiodun Shotiwa, Oluwafunmilola Desalu, Adekoya Babatunde, Muibat  Adeola and Rafiu Akeem.

The witnesses alleged that thugs invaded their respective polling units and disrupted voting and counting of votes during the March 18 election.

During his cross-examination, Akeem said the political thugs asked voters who were not ready to vote for APC to vacate the units before they eventually disrupted the exercise.

He said “They (thugs) came to our polling unit and said ‘If you know you’re not voting for APC, you must leave here now.’ That’s why everyone left.

“I didn’t report the matter at the police station because a police officer was on the ground and he witnessed all the drama and disruption of the process.”

Also giving his testimony, Desalu, a prophetess alleged that when votes were about to be counted, some masked men on different motorcycles stormed her polling unit and started shooting sporadically.

She said “Voters and INEC officials ran for safety and this brought about the cancellation of votes in the polling unit.

According to her, over 500 voters in Unit 006, Imosan in Ikenne Local Government were disenfranchised by the incident.

When asked if she reported the incident to the police, she said she did not report the incident to the police, because the event was witnessed by the police and other security agents deployed for the exercise.