20th November, 2012
Fighting broke out yesterday at the Tafawa Belewa Square, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria venue of the election petition tribunal when supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN clashed following the inability of the tribunal to read its judgment on the Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area chairmanship tussle.
The reading of the judgment which had been postponed twice by the tribunal infuriated supporters of the petitioner who suspected an external influence in the postponement. PDP supporters accused ACN leaders of delaying the reading of the judgment because of the fear of losing, adding that they suspected an unseen hand trying to influence the outcome of the judgment.
ACN supporters, on the other hand, accused the PDP chieftains in the local government of harassing tribunal members to hastily deliver judgment in a matter requiring thorough examination.
Because of the large crowd of supporters who besieged the court to hear the judgment, many of them were not allowed into the court premises, only their leaders were allowed in.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the chairman of the tribunal, Justice F. A. Owobiyi (retd) who fixed judgment for the day was being expected by the parties but after being told of the tension on ground, refused to come out.
The registrar, it was learnt, called the counsel to the parties aside and told them that the chairman was indisposed and would not come to court. He subsequently adjourned till Thursday, 22 November, 2012.
At about 11.25 a.m. when the announcement was made that the judgment had been postponed, hell was let loose by the supporters. They accused each other of being behind the decision to arrest the judgment
The rowdy situation was later brought under control by the security agents attached to the court.
The PDP candidate, Otunba Busari Ayinde had asked the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election instead of Dr. Augustine Arogundade of the ACN that was declared winner by the Lagos State Independent Elecroal Commision, LASIEC.