July 1, 2015 – Chaos As PDP Thugs Beat Up APC Witnesses Inside Ekiti State High Court In Ado Ekiti
The Ekiti State High Court complex in Ado- Ekiti, the state capital, was in chaos yesterday as suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hoodlums beat up witnesses, who testified before the Election Petitions Tribunal.
The three-man panel was hearing a petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate in Ekiti Central, Gbenga Olofin, who is challenging the return of Senator Fatimat Rasaki of the PDP.
Also beaten up were Olofin’s supporters who were in court to witness the proceedings.
Olofin closed his case after calling eight witnesses. Mrs. Rasaki opened her defence by testifying.
A lengthy argument ensued between lawyers of both parties on the admissibility of the voter register used for the election.
Counsel to the petitioner Yemi George argued in favour of the admissibility of the voter register but the respondent’s counsel, Jude Ogodi, opposed the motion on the grounds that it was not initially listed as an evidence.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice A. N. Erabor, admitted the voter register as evidence.
But suspected hoodlums, who are mostly women, believed to be loyal to the respondent, attacked the petitioner’s witnesses and supporters.
The suspected thugs laid ambush at the gate of the complex looking for APC members.
Sticks, planks, horse whips, stones, broken bottles and other missiles were used by the hoodlums.
The thugs also attacked APC loyalists outside the court.
The tribunal judges invited Mrs. Rasaki into their chambers, where they expressed disappointment with the violence within the temple of justice.
Justice Erabor also expressed the dismay of the panel with the violence, warning parties that the tribunal would no longer tolerate such.
He urged parties to caution their members to always conduct themselves properly.
Olofin expressed happiness on the admissibility of the voter register and other documents.
The admissibility, according to him, would serve the course of justice for the two parties.
He condemned the attack on his supporters.