Ogun tribunal: Abiodun opens defence, witness admits disruption of elections

Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Friday, opened his defence at the state Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Abiodun opened his defence after both the Peoples Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission had closed their cases in the petition filed by the PDP candidate, Ladi Adebutu.

The PDP and Adebutu in the petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023 took Abiodun and his party, All Progressives Congress, to the tribunal on the alleged non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the March 18 election in the state.

While Adebutu closed his case after calling 94 witnesses and tendered over 200,000 documents as evidence, INEC closed its case without calling any witness.

When the tribunal resumed sitting on Friday, Abiodun through its counsel, Prof Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, opened his defence in the petition.

Abiodun called his first witness, Jimoh Gbadebo, who admitted disrupting elections in seven out of 14 polling units in Ward 6, Sagamu, Sagamu Local Government Area of the state.

According to Gbadebo, who is the Ward Collation Agent for APC, the affected polling units were Units 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11 and 12, all in Sagamu.

He explained that the witness said masked political thugs invaded the unit and disrupted the exercise by destroying the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, ballot boxes and papers about four hours into the election .

He added that the same group of thugs disrupted elections in the seven units by moving from one place to another.

Gbadebo told the tribunal that due to the disruption of the election, the INEC ward Collation Officer recorded zero for all the parties in the election.

He said, “I can’t recognise them (thugs). When they came, they were shouting ‘No BIVAS, No BIVAS’.

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