Another Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) witness has alleged that agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) tore result sheets during the February 23 general elections in Bauchi State.
The witness, Yau Yusuf, was speaking under cross-examination at the continuation of hearings of the PDP’s petition against the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Yusuf, who told the court that he worked at Dass local government area of Bauchi State, said APC agents took advantage of the security situation after members of the Joint Task Force were called to man election centres following a bomb blast.
He said the APC agents took the polling centres and tore election result sheets and replaced them with fraudulently computed ones.
Mr Yusuf added that copies of the torn sheets were taken away by police officers who promised to investigate the matter.
“The original result was torn by an APC agent in front of an electoral officer,” Mr Yusuf said.
When asked whether he was aware of possible prosecution from the proposed investigation, Mr Yusuf, however, said he was not aware of any such prosecution.
He also alleged that the elections started late at his polling unit because the INEC officials failed to turn up on time.
According to Mr Yusuf, he was asked to report to the polling unit as early as 4 a.m. and complied with the instruction given by INEC officials only for the INEC workers to turn up a few minutes to 8 a.m.
A total of 10 witnesses appeared at the tribunal to testify on Thursday. The figure puts the total number of witnesses presented by the PDP at 29.
The petitioners had claimed it has over 400 witnesses whom they intend to present at the tribunal to prove their allegations of misconduct against INEC and the APC.
Thursday’s session was the fifth day since the PDP opened its case regarding the elections.
The petitioners have five more days to prove their case
A common feature of most testimonies given by the witnesses on Thursday is the alleged electoral fraud that resulted from the crisis within Bauchi, Borno and Kaduna states.
The allegation intends to strengthen the PDP’s point that the February 23 elections were marked by widespread irregularities, a constitutional basis for the nullification of elections in Nigeria.
Among the five major grounds upon which the PDP is anchoring its petition is its contention that Mr Buhari, who is the second respondent, was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
The party also alleged that the election of the 2nd respondent is invalid by reason of corrupt practices.
The PDP is also challenging the election of Mr Buhari on the grounds that he was not educationally qualified to have contested the elections
The three northern states which form part of Nigeria’s northern region have been widely affected by activities of bandits, terrorists and other forms of violence for over a decade since Boko Haram attacks escalated in the northern region.
Witnesses from Borno and Bauchi states on Thursday told the court that there were series of bomb blasts in their states during the elections.
The hearings were adjourned till Friday by the tribunal chairman, Mohammed Garba.