Police ran away when thugs invaded polling unit – Witness tells Ogun tribunal

A witness, Festus Abiodun Inioluwa, on Friday, told the Ogun State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta that some police officers manning his polling unit ran away when political thugs stormed the unit and disrupted the exercise during the March 18 election.

The witness gave evidence in the petition filed by Ladi Adebutu, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

News reports that Adebutu’s lawyer, Gordy Uche, has called over 80 witnesses, including two INEC ad hoc staff since he opened his case weeks ago.

Four witnesses who appeared before the tribunal on Friday were Festus Abiodun Inioluwa, Balogun Oladipo, Gbenga Mustapha and Emmanuel Olugbile.

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

During cross-examination, Inioluwa, an agent of PDP, told the tribunal that political thugs disrupted the election at Polling Unit 12, Ward 6 in Sagamu Local Government.

He said police officers and other security agents manning the polling unit ran away during the disruption of the exercise.

Responding to a question on whether or not he reported the alleged disruption to the police, the witness said: “I did not report. Police officers were on 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.

On his part, Oladipo, who is a PDP youth leader in Sagamu, stated that almost 99 polling units were attacked across Ogun State. This, he said, was why the PDP went to court.

Gbenga, a witness from Ogun Waterside Local Government Area, said: “No result was recorded for any of the parties. The thugs scattered everywhere and we all ran away. My mother dragged me home.”

Meanwhile, Justice Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal has adjourned proceedings till Monday for the continuation of the hearing.


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