A witness identified as Dayo Israel has told the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom, that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Ibijoke were allowed to cast their votes with invalid voter cards.
Dayo Isreal who was the Labour Party, LP, agent was summoned to testify in the petition filed by the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the March 18 2023 election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, to nullify the return of governor Sanwo-Olu.
While being led in evidence by the Rhodes-Vivour’s lead counsel, Olumide Ayeni SAN, Israel informed the court that he served as an agent for the Labour Party in Unit 006, Ward 15, Lagos Island Local Government in the election.
He said, ”I observed that the card reader showed their cards to be invalid but Sanwo-Olu and his wife were allowed to cast their votes and this is against INEC’s electoral process.”
Under cross-examination from counsel to INEC, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, the witness also claimed he was beaten up that day by supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“I’m not a Labour Party member but I was assigned as an agent. When the APC thugs recognised me as the party’s agent, they beat me up. And also threatened to beat voters if they did not vote for APC.”
When asked by counsel to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Muiz Banire, SAN, to describe how he was beaten. Israel said, “During the casting of votes, four of them beat me up. I ran away, changed my clothes to disguise myself and came back to monitor the counting of votes.”
Similarly, another subpoenaed witness, who is the State secretary of the Labour Party in Lagos, Sam Okpala, also testified before the tribunal, led by counsel to the petitioner, Folagbade Benson, the subpoena was tendered before the court through the witness, a situation which led to another round of objections from the respondents.
In its ruling, the Tribunal noted the objections of the respondents but proceeded to hear the testimony of the witness while ordering the respondents to include their objections in their final written addresses.
The Court, however, adjourned the continuation of the hearing in the petition till July 3.