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Election Tribunal: Witness Accuses Sanwo-Olu, Wife of Voting with Invalid Cards

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A witness on Monday 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, despite their voter cards being invalid.

This testimony was given by an agent of the Labour Party, Dayo Isreal who 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 Gov. SanwoOlu and his deputy.

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

“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,” Israel said before the tribunal.

Under cross-examination from counsel to INEC, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Charles Edosomwan, the witness also claimed he was beaten up that day by some All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters and that he knew they were APC supporters from 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 by counsel to Governor Sanwo Olu Olu & his deputy, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Muiz Banire, to describe how he was beaten.

He added, “During casting of votes, 4 of them 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 3-4 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 counsel to APC, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abiodun Owonikoko, the witness disclosed that a total number of 126 people were accredited at the polling unit where Governor Sanwo -Olu voted while APC had 121 votes, LP was given 2votes.

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

Led by counsel to the petitioner, Folagbade Benson, the subpoena was tendered to the tribunal through the witness, a situation which led to another round of objections from the respondents.

The tribunal in its ruling 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 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.

The tribunal has adjourned till July 3 for the continuation of the hearing in the petition.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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