Ladi Adebutu, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, on Monday presented additional witnesses to testify against Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election petition tribunal.
By the end of Monday’s proceedings, the petitioners had called a total of 56 witnesses, with six witnesses testifying that day. The witnesses cross-examined were Olorunwa Tunwase, a 67-year-old pastor; Kushimo Olamide, a clothes seller; Asimolowo Abike, a trader; Balogun Muhammed; Mulikat Akorede; and photographer Thomas Abiodun. These witnesses were from Ogun Waterside, Ado-Odo/Ota, and Abeokuta North local government areas of the state.
Ladi Adebutu and the PDP had filed a petition challenging Governor Abiodun’s victory, alleging non-compliance with the electoral act during the March 18 governorship polls in Ogun State. The witnesses testified that their polling units were disrupted by thugs, leading to the cancellation of voting and vote counting.
The petitioners’ lawyer, Gordy Uche, informed the tribunal that he planned to call 65 more witnesses who were voters, party agents, and members of the opposition party.
During the proceedings, the witnesses were cross-examined by lawyers representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the counsel for Governor Abiodun, and the lawyer representing the APC.
One of the witnesses, Tunwase, a clergyman, expressed his determination not to allow the respondents’ counsels to manipulate his words, maintaining that elections at his polling units were canceled due to violence.
“I am here to say what happened in my polling units; please don’t pollute my statement. Elections were cancelled in my polling units due to violence,” he insisted.
The petitioners’ counsel informed the tribunal that more witnesses would be called on Tuesday.
The Hamidu Kunaza-led tribunal has since adjourned until July 18.