Sanwo-Olu, Wife Voted With Invalid Voter Cards, Witness Tells Tribunal
Written by Teniola Akerele on June 27, 2023
A witness, Dayo Israel, appeared before the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday and revealed that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his wife, Ibijoke, were allowed to cast their votes despite having invalid voter cards in the March 18 governorship election.
Israel, who served as an agent for the Labour Party for Unit 006, Ward 15, Lagos Island Local Government, provided this testimony as part of the petition filed by the Labour Party’s candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, seeking to nullify Governor Sanwo-Olu’s return.
The witness told the court that he observed the card reader indicating that Sanwo-Olu and his wife had invalid cards, yet they were still permitted to vote, which he considered a violation of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s electoral process.
“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 said.
Under cross-examination from counsel to INEC, Charles Edosomwan, Israel alleged that he was beaten up by All Progressives Congress supporters on election day.
He claimed to have recognised them as APC supporters based on their language and stated that they threatened to beat up voters who did not vote for the APC.
He said, “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.”
Israel further described the incident, stating that four individuals attacked him during the casting of votes, but he managed to escape, changed his clothes to disguise himself, and returned to monitor the vote counting.
The witness also highlighted cases of multiple voting at the polling unit, noting that INEC officials failed to intervene despite witnessing the irregularities.
The hearing on the petition has been adjourned until July 3, when the proceedings will continue.