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How Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu, Wife Voted With Invalid Voters’ Cards — Labour Party Official Tells Tribunal

How Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu, Wife Voted With Invalid Voters’ Cards — Labour Party Official Tells Tribunal
June 27, 2023


An agent of the Labour Party, Dayo Israel, on Monday narrated before the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom, how the state governor, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Ibijoke cast their votes during the 2023 general elections with invalid voters cards.

Dayo was subpoenaed to testify in the petition filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s candidate, in the March 18 election, seeking to nullify the return of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy.

The witness informed the court that he worked as an agent for the Labour Party in the Governorship Election for Unit 006, Ward 15, Lagos Island Local Government while being led in evidence by Rhodes-Vivour's lead counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olumide Ayeni.

“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,” he was quoted by Channels TV telling the tribunal.

Under cross-examination by INEC's counsel, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, the witness also claimed that he was beaten up that day by several All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters and that he knew they were APC supporters based on the way they spoke.

“I am not a member of the Labour Party but I was assigned as an agent. When the APC thugs recognised me as an LP agent, they beat me up. They also said if voters did not vote for APC, they would beat them too,” he said.

When asked to detail how he was beaten up, he added, “During casting of votes, 4 of them (hoodlums) beat me up. I ran away, changed my clothes to disguise myself and came back to monitor the counting of votes.”

He also noted that there were cases of multiple casting of votes but INEC officials failed to intervene.

“I observed more than 3 to 4 people voting more than once at the polling unit. INEC staff conducted the elections, though they looked the other way when this was going on.”

While answering questions from APC counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko, SAN, the witness said that a total of 126 people were accredited at the polling unit where Governor Sanwo-Olu voted, with APC receiving 121 votes and LP receiving two votes.

In addition, another subpoenaed witness, Sam Okpala, the secretary of the Labour Party in Lagos State, testified before the tribunal.

The subpoena was given to the tribunal through the witness by counsel for the petitioner, Folagbade Benson, resulting in another round of objections from the respondents.

The tribunal noted the respondents' objections in its judgement but proceeded to hear the witness' testimony while requiring the respondents to incorporate their objections in their final written addresses.

During cross-examination by INEC's counsel, the witness stated that if he had not been subpoenaed, he would not have been before the tribunal, and that he had never written a statement.

The hearing of the petition has been deferred until July 3 by the tribunal.