A former Minister of State for Defence and governorship aspirant, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has accused a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George and winner of the party’s governorship primary in the state, Jimi Agbaje of manipulating the election to favour the latter.
Obanikoro, in an affidavit he filed with a suit he initiated against the election, alleged that George and Agabje deliberately disrupted proceedings at the election venue, with the help of thugs and state security operatives to achieve their aim.
Obanikoro, who came second in the governorship primary behind Agbaje, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/994/2014 is seeking among others, the nullification of the election outcome on the premise that it violated the party’s electoral guidelines in many areas, including the production of result in excess of accredited voters.
It would be recalled that chairman of the PDP Governorship Committee for Lagos, Senator Umar Kumo, announced 863 as the number of votes cast as against 806 delegates that voted.
Joined as defendants in the suit are the PDP and the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC).
The affidavit reads in part: “Sometime at about 11am, one Chief Bode George and Mr. Jimi Agbaje, a co-contestant arrived the venue of the election with armed thugs, who kept a menacing vigil at the entrance of the election venue.
“Sometime at about 1pm, the said Chief Bode Goerge, a chieftain of the 1st defendant returned to the venue of the election with a team of armed mobile policemen and armed officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA( where his wife is the Chairman), making the atmosphere at the venue to become exceedingly charged.
“The thugs earlier brought by Chief Bde George and Mr. Jimi Agbaje, at this point, began to disrupt the venue by throwing bottles, stones and firing gun shots in the direction of the delegates loyal to me and preventing other delegates loyal to me from entering the venue.
“The gun shots attracted another detachment of policemen, who engaged the thugs in a gun and tear gas battle, during which many of the delegates loyal to me ran for dear lives to avoid being caught in the crossfire between the police and the armed thugs.
“Many of my delegates, who ran for their dear lives in the ensuing violence and gun battle never returned and were consequently disenfranchised as it took the police several hours to restore some semblance of normalcy.
“The police recovered five guns and rounds of ammunitions and live cartridges from the thugs brought by Chief Bode George and Mr. Jimi Agbaje. Thereafter, the delegates brought by Chief Bode George and Mr. Jimi Agbaje started arriving the venue of the election and accreditation which ought to have started since 8am started at about 6.30pm”.