Ogun tribunal: PDP, Adebutu call 29 witnesses

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the March 18 election, Ladi Adebutu, have called 29 witnesses who testified before the election petition tribunal that voting was disrupted in their polling units by political thugs.

In petition EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023, the PDP and Adebutu challenged Governor Dapo Abiodun’s victory, claiming non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

The petitioners called 10 witnesses, including voters, party agents, and party members, at the resumed hearing on Tuesday.

Gordy Uche (SAN), Adebutu’s counsel, had previously informed the tribunal that the petitioners intend to call over 100 witnesses to prove their case against the respondents.

The witnesses called thus far have all testified that elections were cancelled in their polling units and that their votes were not counted as a result of the election being disrupted by suspected thugs.

O. Keshiro, counsel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), representing Dapo Abiodun, and Afolabi Fashanu (SAN) of the APC cross-examined the witnesses.

One of the witnesses, Rabiu Adeniyi, testified that political thugs intimidated and harassed voters at his polling unit, disenfranchising many voters.

According to him, the thugs stormed his polling station with guns and other dangerous weapons in order to disrupt the election and drive voters away.

Adeniyi said: “It is very painful that our votes did not count. The election at my polling unit was cancelled after APC thugs invaded our polling units and started shooting. They (the thugs) disrupted the election, and our votes were not counted at the end of the day.”

Another witness, Olusanya Yusuf Olatunji, told the court that voting at his polling unit was disrupted by suspected thugs who invaded the unit, chased voters, and carted away ballot boxes.

The petitioners are expected to call more witnesses on Wednesday as the case continues.

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