DECISION DAY : Tension Mounts In Abiodun, Adebutu Camps As Tribunal Decision Looms

Security Alarm Forces Deployment  Of More  Security 

…Confusion Over Possible Zoom  Procedure 

Daud Olatunji

The political battleground in Ogun State is fraught with tension as both the camps of Governor Dapo Abiodun from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Ladi Adebutu, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), anxiously await the tribunal’s verdict.

Sources have confirmed that both candidates  had  left the state in anticipation of the judgment. 

As of the time of this report,  Adebutu has returned to the state in preparation for the judgment, while Governor Abiodun has yet to make his way back from his trip. 

However, there are indications that the governor might return before the judgment is delivered on Saturday.

The atmosphere is charged with palpable anxiety as the three-man panel of judges readies itself to announce the election winner on March 18, 2023.

In response to security concerns raised by some stakeholders, last-minute security measures have been put in place.

 The heightened tension has led to uncertainty over whether the judgment will be delivered via Zoom or in a traditional courtroom setting.

Reports suggest that some party members have been cautioned to stay away from the court premises to prevent a repeat of any attacks during the tribunal process.

It’s worth noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had previously declared Abiodun as the winner, stating that he polled 276,298 votes, while Adebutu secured 262,388 votes. Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) garnered 9,754 votes.

In response, Adebutu challenged Abiodun’s victory and sought a court order declaring him the rightful winner. He presented a forensic report, called 94 witnesses, and tendered 8,000 documents as exhibits before the Election Petition Tribunal.

Abiodun, on the other hand, called six witnesses in his defense, including an official from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and a Zenith Bank staff, along with voters and party agents. He also submitted various documents, including his WAEC certificate and evidence related to Adebutu’s ATM card production.

Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Mr. Abiodun, called their last witness, Solomon Sanyaolu, the director-general of Abiodun’s campaign committee. Interestingly, INEC did not call any witnesses in response to the petition.

As the tension escalates, all eyes remain fixed on the tribunal, awaiting its pivotal judgment that will determine the political future of Ogun State.

An investiagtion revealed that the police reports indicted both Abiodun and Adebutu of police buying during the election.

Drama however pakyed out on Friday evening as a message sent by one of the aides of governor Abiodun was twisted against him.

While the governor aide on his X handle (twitter) wrote “Thus far, Governor @dabiodunMFR has demonstrated unwavering dedication to serving the people and implementing positive change in @OGSG_Official.”

This was supported with the picture of the governor  taken during his swearing clad in a traditional attire waving on a parade car. 

But , the opposition held the material and twisted it .

PLATFORM TIMES spotted the twisted message in one of the loops read with the same picture waving.

Dramatically, the message was reproduced  thus “Bye bye my people in Ogun State, by tomorrow i will be handing over to the authentic government, I want to use this last opportunity to say sorry for those i have offended during my time as the governor of ogun state. And av forgiven those that offended me during the same. Thanks and God bless….. Not my handwriting ooo.

“Victory is ours tomorrow by the special grace of almighty Allah  

“Ladoakinlade are taking over the ogun state power by God grace “


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