Ogun tribunal: Adebutu, PDP call 83 witnesses in two weeks

The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, have called 83 witnesses to testify in the petition challenging the election of Governor Dapo Abiodun and his party, All Progressives Congress, in the 2023 governorship election in the state.

As of Friday, the petitioners had called no fewer than 83 witnesses, including two ad hoc workers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who took part in the election.

Adebutu and the PDP had in the petition marked EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023, challenged the victory of Abiodun over alleged irregularities during the March 18 governorship election in the state.

The PDP candidate’s lawyer, Gordy Uche, SAN, on Friday, called four witnesses: Festus Inioluwa, Balogun Oladipo, Mustapha Gbenga and Olugbile Emmanuel to testify in support of the petition.

They were cross-examined by Dr Remi Olatubora (SAN), who represented INEC; Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), who appeared for Abiodun; and Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), who represented the APC.

Inioluwa, while giving his testimonial, told the State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, the State capital, that some police officers manning his polling unit fled when political thugs allegedly loyal to the APC stormed his polling unit 12, ward 6 in Sagamu and disrupted the election.

When asked if he reported the alleged disruption to the police, the witness said, “I did not report. Police officers were on the ground, but they ran away when thugs stormed the polling units and disrupted the exercise.”

Inioluwa also agreed with his party that a total of 49,066 voters were disenfranchised during the March 18 governorship election in the state.

The respondents’ lawyers objected to the documents tendered before the tribunal by the PDP’s subpoenaed witnesses and reserved their objections for their final addresses.

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