Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Counsel to the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in Ogun State and its gubernatorial candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, Sebastine Hon (SAN) has told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta that the lives of Akinlade and that of petitioner’s witnesses were under threat.
The counsel who appeared with Ahmed Raji (SAN) before Justice Yusuf Halilu-led panel on Wednesday, equally said that the police officers attached to Akinlade had been withdrawn, thereby exposing him to an attack.
Hon, shortly after he had called a third witness for Wednesday’s hearing, said that the petitioner might not continue with the hearing over alleged threat to the witnesses’ lives.
The counsel, however, demanded an adjournment to enable the petitioner to re-examine the security situation before continuation of the petition hearing.
“This is my 11th year as SAN; I can’t be frivolous. I am a dogged fighter and I don’t shy away from my responsibility. I am speaking with a high sense of responsibility. And I am communicating the position of the petitioner.
“Police security officers of the first petitioner ( Akinlade) have been withdrawn. Those who are threatening their lives won’t come to court. This application is brought in all sincerity,” Hon said.
But counsel to Governor Dapo Abiodun who is the second respondent, Dele Adesina (SAN) opposed the petitioner’s application, describing it as “unacceptable”.
Adesina argued that Abiodun is “a dove and a peace-loving person” who would not threaten anybody’s life over the petition.
Also speaking, counsel to the APC, Abeeb Ajayi described the application as an excuse taken too far, saying “our client has not threatened anyone and does not intend to threaten anyone’s life.”
In his ruling, however, Justice Yusuf Halilu directed both the petitioner and respondent counsels to meet the state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, to demand more security protection, to guarantee peaceful hearing.
He, therefore, adjourned the matter till Monday to receive report in continuation of the hearing.