The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Ladi Adebutu, has told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta that thugs disrupted voting in over 99 polling units, disenfranchising over 40,000 citizens during the March 18 governorship election.
Adebutu made the allegation while closing his case at the tribunal after calling 94 witnesses and tendering 200,000 documents in evidence.
The PDP and Adebutu, in the petition marked, EPT/OG/GOV/03/2023, are challenging the victory of Governor Dapo Abiodun based on alleged non-compliance to the Electoral Act and corrupt practices during the election.
In his petition, Adebutu alleged that elections were disrupted by thugs in over 99 polling units, disenfranchising over 40,000 voters from participating in the March 18 polls.
For about three weeks, the petitioner called voters and party agents from Sagamu, Ikenne, Odogbolu, Remo North, Ogun Waterside, Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ado-Odo/Ota and other local governments as witnesses to prove that there were disruptions in different polling units across the state.
The petitioner also summoned with a subpoena, two ad hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), an official of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), a statistician and a forensic expert to testify before the tribunal.
Adebutu also tendered in evidence, certified true copies of INEC electoral materials, result sheets, voter registers, printouts from the Bimodal Voters Accreditation (BVAS) machines, incident forms, video evidence, forensic reports and others.
Addressing newsmen after the sitting, counsel to the petitioners, Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), disclosed, “We have called 94 witnesses on behalf of the petitioners and we have tendered over 200,000 INEC documents before the court, as well as our own documents.”
The INEC is expected to open its defence on Wednesday, being the first respondent in the petition.
Counsel to INEC, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), during the pre-hearing session told the tribunal that the electoral umpire would be calling just one witness