Presidential Election Tribunal: PDP witness accuses INEC official of receiving $10,000 bribe

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu speaking during the formal opening of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections Result Collation Centre, in Abuja on Sunday (24/2/19). 01726/24/2/2019/BJO/NAN
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

A witness for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Abubakar Kaura, was paid $10,000 to rig the 2019 elections.

The witness, Likita Aliyu, made the allegation at Tuesday’s hearing of the election petition brought by the PDP at the presidential election tribunal in Abuja.

Mr Aliyu was a ward collation officer for the petitioners during the disputed election in Nasarawa State.

The witness added that he saw the money with Mr Kaura when he personally went to investigate the alleged bribe.
He did not state what Mr Kaura’s role was during the election.

According to Mr Aliyu, he succeeded in going round 23 of the 24 polling units in his ward, before the end of the February 23 election.

Mr Aliyu also said he reported the matter to the police, who transferred the case to the state criminal investigation bureau.

The PDP witness, however, added during further cross-examination that he was not aware if anyone was ever prosecuted as a result of the allegation.

In a similar testimony, another PDP witness, Taimako Sunday, said INEC officials rejected a lot of results in arrears known as PDP strongholds.

The testimonies of the witnesses were meant to prove the PDP’s allegation that INEC connived with the APC to rig the 2019 elections.

The petitioners named INEC as the first respondents in their complaint with President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC as second and third respondents, respectively.

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The PDP had argued that its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won the elections but was cheated by the respondents who declared Mr Buhari winner.

Mr Buhari was declared the winner of the election with 15,191,847 votes.

Mr Abubakar, his closest challenger, polled 11,262,978 votes according to the declared results.

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