On Thursday, two ad hoc staff members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appeared as witnesses before the Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The first witness, Ezeajaegbu Desmond, a former National Youth Service Corps member, and Presiding Officer, testified that unknown thugs disrupted voting at his assigned Polling Unit 0012, Ward 6, Makun Sagamu. During cross-examination, he stated that the thugs attacked the polling unit, set electoral materials on fire, and even burnt his INEC reflective jacket.
He managed to escape with the BVAS machine as they were trained to do in such situations. Desmond mentioned that approximately 50 people had already voted before the hoodlums arrived and caused the disruption.
However, during the cross-examination, INEC’s counsel, Remi Olatubora, disowned Desmond, claiming that he was never an INEC Presiding Officer. Olatubora asserted that Desmond should have contacted INEC before appearing at the tribunal, despite the subpoena being addressed to him. The counsel accused Desmond of being an arranged and procured witness who was paid by the PDP to testify against INEC.
Desmond, on his part, maintained that he was indeed a Presiding Officer and provided evidence of the payment he received from the electoral umpire, denying any payment from the PDP for his testimony.
The second witness, Okitipki Mogbeyi, who served as an Assistant Presiding Officer, also testified that unknown political thugs disrupted voting at her polling unit. She stated that security agents were present and witnessed the invasion, which is why she didn’t report the incident to the police. Mogbeyi clarified that she appeared in response to the subpoena personally addressed to her, not on behalf of INEC.
She denied being paid by the PDP to testify and mentioned that she honored the subpoena to avoid any legal consequences.
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