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There seems to be much more drama in the offing over the Ogun state governorship election tribunal as the appeal court President, Justice Zainab Bulkachawa received a petition from the Ogun state Labour Party requesting for the relocation of the Tribunal to Abuja.
The Ogun state Labour Party had locked horns with the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Ogun state governor at the tribunal requesting for the conciliation of March 9th governorship and state Assembly elections conducted in the state over what it called an unlawful exclusion.
The Tribunal started sitting in April at exactly 30 days after the conclusion of the election.
After the panel was changed twice, First, through an internal memo and secondly through a petition written separately by the duo of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and the Labour Party (LP) requesting that the second panel led by Justice Olajumoke Coker be disbanded in May.
Days after the third panel was reconstituted, the Chairman of LP, Com. Abayomi Arabambi raised an alarm of threat to life saying masked men clad in black threatened him at gunpoint hence, wrote the Inspector General of Police and Director General of the Department of the State Security Services (DSS).
However, The Labour Party through it chairman petitioned the Tribunal requesting for the relocation of the hearing to Abuja but the Chairman of the Panel Justice Yussuf Halilu rejected the request directing the party to channel same request to the President of the court of appeal.
However, The Labour Party has written to the President of the Court of Appeal as PLATFORM TIMES is in possession of the received copy of the letter with the heading: Application to have the Tribunal sitting relocated to Abuja.
The letter reads in part, “As at now, I and other witnesses’ safety can no longer be guaranteed due to intimidation and threats. my humble self was threatened point blank by masked men in one Black Honda Accord with covered Registration plate number just 9pm yesterday Wednesday the 5th day of June 2019 at Panseke under Bridge that they want to see how myself, the Governorship candidate and other witnesses will attend the Tribunal to give our evidence as the tribunal has adjourned to 10th June, 2019 for trial to commence.
“We attached copies of petition already received by the office of Inspector general of Police and Director General of the Department of the State security service over threat to our lives.
“As a result, of this open harassment and threat, all the witnesses in our case have told us that they will not come and testify in the Tribunal unless it is relocated to Abuja.
“My Lord, it is in the interest of justice that the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal be relocated to Abuja for the security of our witnesses and our lawyers involved in the case.
“We have information that some of the Governor’s friends within the APC, the Opposition Party PDP and party loyalist have hired some ex-convict and dangerous secret cult members to carry out assassination with plans to cover up it for robbery incidents or vehicle accident including our lawyers and witnesses in other to ensure they no longer attend the trial that is about to commence on Monday 10th June 6, 2019.
“It is consequent upon the above that we are pleading with your Lordship to relocate the sitting of the Tribunal to Abuja as we, our lawyers and other witnesses shall no longer appear before the tribunal sitting at Isabo court 8 for fear of being killed. We have no option than to run for Cover to safe our precious lives”