Dayo Israel, a witness, testified in front of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his wife, Ibijoke, were permitted to cast their votes in the March 18 governorship election despite holding invalid voter identification.
Israel gave this statement as part of the appeal submitted by the Labour Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, to invalidate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s return. Israel acted as an agent for the Labour Party for Unit 006, Ward 15, Lagos Island Local Government.
The witness testified in court that he saw the card reader show that Sanwo-Olu and his wife had invalid IDs but were still allowed to vote, which he believed to be a breach of the Independent National voting Commission’s voting procedure.
“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,” he said.
Under cross-examination from counsel to INEC, Charles Edosomwan, Israel alleged that he was beaten up by All Progressives Congress supporters on election day.
He asserted that he was able to identify them as APC members based on their language and that they threatened to assault voters who supported the opposition party.
He said, “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.”
Israel stated that four individuals attacked him during the casting of votes, but he managed to escape, changed his clothes to disguise himself, and returned to monitor the vote counting.
The witness also highlighted cases of multiple voting at the polling unit, noting that INEC officials failed to intervene despite witnessing the irregularities.
The hearing on the petition has been adjourned until July 3, when the proceedings will continue.