Ogun Election Tribunal: Political thugs assault PDP chieftain

It took the intervention of security operatives before normalcy was restored.

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Ogun, Segun Showunmi, was, on Monday, assaulted by suspected political thugs, as the Election Petition Tribunal in Ogun observed its inaugural sitting over the March 18 governorship election in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three-man tribunal is chaired by Justice Hamidu Kunaza.

NAN reports that Oladipupo Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the governorship election, had filed a petition against INEC and Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Kunaza, in his address at the sitting held at Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court in Isabo, said that the tribunal had received four petitions challenging the declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Abiodun, as winner of the election.

He, however, said that two out of the four petitions had been struck out, while also assuring the litigants of fair hearing, justice and satisfaction at the end of the tribunal’s assignment.

Kunaza urged all the parties to cooperate with the tribunal, and advised legal practitioners not to mislead the tribunal.

He also appealed to the media to give factual reportage of the proceedings at the tribunal. The tribunal chairman, thereafter, adjourned sitting till June 13.

However, while the tribunal sitting was ongoing, the suspected political thugs assaulted Showunmi.

The thugs, who were in large number, had come to support a particular political party.

Some of them were seen holding canes, as minor clash also broke out between supporters of the two major political parties, APC and PDP.

It took the intervention of security operatives before normalcy was restored.

The security personnel also prevented political supporters from entering into the court premises, while the road leading to the facility was blocked, thus preventing vehicular movement around the area.

Addressing the tribunal, Chris Uche, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who led Adebutu’s legal team, pledged support to the tribunal toward quick dispensation of justice.

The respondents (INEC and Abiodun) were also represented at the tribunal by three SANs, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, A.J. Owonikoko and Kunle Kalejaiye.

NAN also reports that the court premises was manned by heavily armed security operatives from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services (DSS) and Amotekun.

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