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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bode Goerge, Agbaje rigged Lagos PDP primary - Obanikoro tells court

Musiliu Obanikoro, a People Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant has accused a chieftain of PDP in Lagos State, Chief Olabode George, and the winner of the party’s governorship primary, Jimi Agbaje of manipulating the election that made Agbaje the party's flag bearer in 2015.

Obanikoro, in an affidavit he filed with the suit he initiated against the election, alleged that George and Agabje deliberately disrupted proceedings at the election venue, using thugs and state security officers to achieve their aim.

Obanikoro is by the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/994/2014 seeking among others, the nullification of election outcome on the ground that the election violated the party’s electoral guidelines in many areas, including the production of result in excess of accredited voters.

Defendants in the suit are the PDP and the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC).
 “Sometime at about 11am, one Chief Bode Goerge 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 gate of the 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 arned 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 Goerge 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 loyal to and 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 bow started at about 6.30 pm

“At this late hour, having noticed that many of my delegates had run for their dear lives, many non-party members, miscreants and unaccredited persons were allowed by the state Electoral Panel to be used to replace the delegates loyal to me.

“The above notwithstanding, the remaining delegates loyal to me were openly threatened with physical injury not to vote for me. Even the voting papers given to my delegates were later snatched from them and the name of my opponent, Mr. Jimi Agbaje forcefully written on their papers in the presence of the electoral officers manning the election,” he said

He argued that but for the manipulation by George and Agbaje, he would have won the election.
Yesterday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, after listening to Obanikoro’s lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) argued his motion ex-parte for interim injuctions, refused to grant the applicant’s prayers, but instead ordered him to put the defendants on notice to show cause why the prayers should not be granted.

Obanikoro had sought to restrain the PDP from and its agents from sending any name to INEC as its aspirant emerging from the December 8 primary.

Justice Mohammed who adjourned to December 23 directed the two defendants to appear in court on the next to show cause why the orders sought by Obanikoro in the ex-parte motion should not be granted.

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