Thugs storm Ogun Election Petition Tribunal, assault PDP chieftain, Showunmi, others. - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Thugs storm Ogun Election Petition Tribunal, assault PDP chieftain, Showunmi, others. PDP petitions IGP, accuses APC of plans to subvert justice

...Showunmi was attacked by some PDP members due to his betrayal

Suspected political thugs on Monday caused panic as they invaded Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Isabo area of Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The thugs suspected to be supporters of the all Progressives Congress, APC, stormed the court and its environment, armed with canes with which they allegedly flogged the opposition members out of the court premises 

The barricade at both ends of the Isabo Junction-Kuto road could not stop the political thugs roving around on bikes and feet.

Some of these thugs armed with number of canes allegedly adorned traditional yellow caps of Governor Dapo Abiodun supporters with the logo of Ogun state inscribed on it.

The tribunal commenced sitting on Monday to hear the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Hon Ladi Adebutu, against Gov Abiodun and the APC.

A PDP governorship aspirant in the just concluded 2023 elections, Otunba Segun Showunmi in a viral video detailed how he was attacked by these thugs within the court premises while adding that he lost his pair of glasses to the unprovoked attack.

Otunba Showunmi said that he had to horribly entered into a patrol vehicle but that many of his party members were not so lucky as they got beating of the life while some of them had to visit the hospital to take care of their injuries.

The PDP chieftain pointed accussing fingers at the ruling party saying that such hostility towards them was intentional and was aimed at discouraging them from pursuing the case of their stolen mandate before the election petition tribunal.

Showunmi said it was high time the President of the Appeal Court rose to the occasion and move Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal outside the state while President Bola Tinubu should also call on Gov Dapo Abiodun to give peace a chance in the country.

Some of the thugs were said to be on Okada roaming the streets within the court.

It took the intervention of fully armed security operatives, comprising the police, Department of State Services (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who dispersed the thugs before peace could be restored.

Narrating his ordeal, Showunmi described the attack as aberration in this modern days politics, saying "I was ambushed by the suspected hoodlums wearing yellow cap and all I could see is beating me with cane till I ran into the ditch this morning" 

"The worst that can happen to electoral thief is to mobilize thugs and attack people as it happened today. I have been playing politics in this state since 1999, and such thing has never happened in the history of this state".

"I can't recollect of any day, when brigandage, thuggery, manrunders, murderers have been elevated to the state authority, as we have it during the 'selected' Governor of Dapo Abiodun, because he couldn't have won election that is still very much contested".

"Today was the beginning of the hearing at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and obviously, people like us will go there to show our support and solidarity. Political leaders like us cannot just sit down in the comfort of our air-conditioned room and only ask our supporters to go there". 

"I parked my car at a distance and I walked to the Court gate, but I realized that there was no space in the court room and I decided to take my leave. Then the thugs attacked me. I took refuge in a police vehicle, but one of them removed my glasses and took it away".

"The thugs were shouting 'Dapo Abiodun sent us".

"The police and other security operatives were there with guns and sticks, but they couldn't do anything. They were just standing helplessly".

"This is unacceptable. Governor Abiodun should call his boys to order. They did it in your name. Go and find out who they are and call them to order".

"I want to call on President Bola Tinubu to call Governor Abiodun and his thugs to order, before this state is set on fire".

An eyewitness, Sulaimon  Sobiye has however said the media report that political thugs invaded the premises of the court where the Tribunal was sitting was a "lies from the hottest part of the hell", saying it was deliberately concocted by some disgruntled elements in the political circle to satisfy certain selfish political desire.

"As an eye witness, members of the Tribunal in their wisdom ordered that the gate of the Magistrate Court should be closed immediately sitting commenced, which made large number of APC and PDP supporters, including other neutral observers who had arrived late to remain outside the gate of the court".

"It was the same fate that befell the PDP governorship aspirant, Segun Showunmi, who came around much later and started to mount pressure on the security agents at the gate to open the gate for him, after identifying himself as a stakeholder".

"His violent agitation and reaction, which eventually compelled the security agents at the gate to change their earlier stance and wanted to open the gate for him draw the attention of other people standing outside the gate, who protested against the decision and resisted the move".

"The people, who were amalgam of individuals from different political parties prevented Showunmi from enjoying any preferential treatment, as many claimed the man doesn't  deserve such special treatment, while others said whatever is good for the goose is also good for the gander, adding that they were also very important in their own rights".

Infact, majority of those who booed Showunmi and prevented his entry into the Tribunal premises were majorly  PDP members, many of those who eloquently accused him of betrayal and started calling him all sorts of names".

"So far so good, the Tribunal commenced  on a very peaceful atmosphere without any blemish whatsoever, giving hope of justice without fear or favour", Sobiye said.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in a very strong terms condemned the violent attack on its members, including a notable member of the party, Otunba Segun Sowunmi, journalists and other Nigerians allegedly by thugs mobilized by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to disrupt the Ogun State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta.

The opposition party said that the attack by the APC is a direct assault on the institution of the Judiciary, the Election Tribunal and a serious threat to the sustenance of Democracy in our country.

Speaking through a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagbba, the party has therefore called on the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to direct an immediate investigation into the security lapses that might have paved way for such unchecked attack on the institution of the Judiciary and other innocent Nigerians at the premises of the Electoral Tribunal.

"Our Party, standing with the people of Ogun State, demands that those behind the attack must be tracked down and brought to book immediately especially as there are ample evidence from video recordings of this shameful and dastardly action by the APC sponsored hoodlums

"The PDP however states that the people of Ogun State and the PDP will never be deterred or cowed by the APC to give up the legitimate and constitutional pursuit for the recovery of the mandate freely given to our Party and Governorship candidate in Ogun State, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, and nothing will change that resolve" the statement concluded.

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