A witness, Israel Dayo, who was an agent for the Labour Party for Unit 006, Ward 15, Lagos Island Local Government in the march 18 Governorship Election has told the Lagos state petitions tribunal, that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife were allowed to cast their votes, despite their voter cards being allegedly invalid.
He also told the tribunal that he was beaten by some thugs alleged to be from the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the election.
He was led in evidence by counsel, Olumide Ayeni (SAN) to the LP’s candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, before the three member tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom.
According to him: ” I observed that the card reader showed their cards to be invalid but Sanwo-Olu and his wife were allowed to cast their votes which is against INEC’s electoral process”.
The witness, while being cross-examined by the INEC counsel, Charles Edosomwan (SAN) also says he was allegedly beaten up that day by APC supporters and that he knew they were APC supporters from the way they spoke.
“When the thugs recognised me as an LP agent, they said if voters did not vote for APC, they would beat them.
“Sanwo-Olu and his wife had a total of two votes .
“I am not a member of Labour Party but i was assigned as an agent,”
The witness also told the tribunal while being cross-examined by counsel, Muiz- Banire (SAN) representating Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, who are both respondents in the case, that he was beaten up by four men while the election was ongoing.
“I ran away the first time I was beaten then disguised to monitor the counting but I did not report the beating at any police station.
“I sustained a minor injury but there was a nearby clinic where I was treated.
“I registered as a polling agent with INEC though I do not have the identification card with me at the moment.”
The witness added that he observed three to four people voted more than once at the polling unit.
According to him, a total number of 126 people were accredited at that polling unit while APC had 121 votes, LP – 2 and PDP – 1 respectively.
The witness, while being questioned by APC’s counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) says he was trained on what to do on the election day and that a total of 126 people were accredited while the total votes cast was 126.
Another witness for the Labour Party, the secretary of the Party in Lagos State, Sam Okpala, who was also subpoenaed, testified.
The counsel to the petitioner, Mr Folagbade Benson, tendered the copy of the subpoena before the tribunal but it was objected by all the respondents’ counsel who said the witness was unqualified to testify.
The tribunal admitted all the documents in evidence and ordered counsel to the respondents to include their objections in their final written addresses.
The witness, while being cross-examined by INEC’s counsel, said he would not have appeared before the tribunal if he was not subpoenaed, adding that he never wrote a statement.
While being questioned by Muiz Banire (SAN), counsel to Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, the witness said he visited over half of the polling units in the state on March 18, while the governorship election was going on.
He said there was 13, 625 polling units in Lagos State and that many Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) malfunctioned on the day of the election.
The witness added that he did not know if Governor Sanwo-Olu amd his deputy were nominated by their party.
The witness, in his cross-examination by the All Progressive Congress (APC) counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), said he was not a party agent and he did not sign any form.
“I was not a party agent but a supervisor who the agents reported to.
“I do not know all the agents that signed the forms but I have their records
“I witnessed how the election went and also had records of complaints from our party agents,” he said.
The tribunal adjourned till July 3 for continuation of hearing.