Former Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro has accused a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George and the winner of the party’s governorship primary, Jimi Agbaje, of manipulating the election to favour Agbaje.
Obanikoro, in an affidavit in a suit contesting the election, alleged that George and Agabje deliberately disrupted proceedings at the election venue, using thugs and state security officers to achieve their aim.
Obanikoro is seeking, among others, the nullification of the election on the grounds that it violated the party’s electoral guidelines, including the production of result in excess of accredited voters.
Defendants are the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Sometime at 11am, Chief Bode George and Jimi Agbaje, a co-contestant, arrived at the venue with armed thugs, who kept a menacing vigil at the gate.
“Sometime at 1pm, George, a chieftain of the first defendant, returned to the venue of the election with armed mobile policemen and armed officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) where his wife is the chairman, making the atmosphere charged.
“The thugs earlier brought by George and Agbaje, at this point, began to disrupt the venue by throwing bottles, stones and firing gun shots in the direction of the delegates loyal to me and preventing other delegates loyal to me from entering the venue.
“The gun shots attracted another detachment of policemen, who engaged the thugs in a gun and tear gas battle, during which many of the delegates loyal to me ran to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
“Many of the delegates, who fled in the ensuing violence and gun battle never returned and were consequently disenfranchised as it took the police several hours to restore some semblance of normalcy.
“The police recovered five guns and rounds of ammunition and live cartridges from the thugs brought by George and Agbaje. Thereafter, the delegates loyal to and brought by George and Agbaje started arriving the venue of the election and accreditation which ought to have started since 8am started at 6.30 pm
“At this late hour, having noticed that many of my delegates had run for their dear lives, many non-party members, miscreants and unaccredited persons were allowed by the state Electoral Panel to be used to replace the delegates loyal to me.
“The above notwithstanding, the remaining delegates loyal to me were openly threatened with physical injury not to vote for me. Even the voting papers given to my delegates were later snatched from them and the name of my opponent, Agbaje forcefully written on their papers in the presence of the electoral officers manning the election,” he said
He argued that but for the manipulation by George and Agbaje, he would have won the election.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, after listening to Obanikoro’s lawyer, Chris Uche, argue his motion ex-parte for interim injunctions, refused to grant the applicant’s prayers.
Justice Mohammed, who adjourned till December 23, directed the two defendants to appear in court on the next adjourned date.