22 November 2012

Nigeria: Edo Poll - Witnesses Allege ACN Shared Money to Influence Voters

The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City Wednesday resumed hearing on the cross-examination of principal witnesses to the alleged electoral malpractices brought before it by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 poll, Major General Charles Airhiavbere, against Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

During the hearing, five witnesses had appeared before the tribunal. First among them was United States of America certified intelligence analyst and a politician, Mrs. Omololu Ogbeni, as PW 5.

Appearing before the tribunal also, is a farmer from Orhionmwon Local Government Area of state, Mr. Peter Osawaru, Mr. Philip Osawaru, Deaconess Marina Osaghae, and Mrs. Jennifer Ologbosere.

Testifying at the tribunal yesterday, Ogbeni alleged that PDP members at Agbado Primary School, one of the voting centres on the election day were chased out, harassed and threatened by the ACN.

Particularly, Osaghae alleged that the ACN in her unit gave out money to voters in order to win their votes.

Besides, she alleged that "ACN members represented Labour Party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and other parties as agents. If you see them that day you would think they were representing those parties because of their tags whereas they were for the interest of ACN."

On her part, Ologbosere alleged that ACN members shared money, La-casera, gala sausage to influence voters at the unit 12.

"At the Oza Primary School, where Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Uyi Igbe also voted was marred by electoral malpractices", she stated, alleging further that the speaker brought in N500 and N100 notes in lump sum to the election ground and distributed same to voters.

These testimonies were given before the three-member panel of the tribunal led Justice Mu'azu Pindinga, before the tribunal adjourned sitting," she said.

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