INEC didn’t conduct elections in parts of Kaduna, Witnesses tell Tribunal

Kaduna State map used to illustrate the story.
Kaduna State map used to illustrate the story.

Thirteen witnesses on Tuesday told the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, that the March 9 governorship elections did not hold in parts of Zaria Local Government Area of the state.

The witnesses, who testified on behalf of the petitioners, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Isah Ashiru, also said even where the poll held, it was disrupted and marred by irregularities.

The witnesses mostly from Kwarbai ward ‘A’ with 26 polling units said polls either did not take place or were not concluded in some of the polling units.

Muhammad Garba, the collation officer of Zaria LGA, had declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 111, 014 votes while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had 35, 356 votes during the governorship election.

However, the PDP witnesses told the Tribunal that elections did not hold in some polling units, while results from some polling units where elections held were tempered with.

Yahaya Abubakar, a witness who said he served as agent to the PDP in polling units 014, Kwarbai A ward, told the Tribunal that “election did not take place in my polling unit, but surprisingly, I was later shown the result of the election purported to have emanated from INEC without the official stamp.”

Another witness, Ahmed Babajo, also an agent, said that elections did not take place at polling Unit 008, adding “I was surprised that INEC announced the result of an election that never took place.”

Mohammed Amfani, another witness from polling unit 032, also said “election did not hold in my polling unit, but INEC released a result from that same polling unit which had no stamp or signature on it.”

Also, Sadam Shehu of polling unit 001 said “as agent of my party, I can confirm elections did not hold in my polling Unit on March 9.

“Even the result from INEC didn’t have stamp of the presiding officer.”

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Danjuma Garba, also a witness, said, “Election took place at 011 polling unit but the result from INEC certified copy did not reflect the true result.

“It was changed and given figures which did not reflect the outcome of the election.”

Another witness, Mohammed Dogara, also testified that election never held at 001 polling unit because INEC officials did not show up at that polling unit.

“But I later saw result from INEC that elections were held, but there was no stamp on the results sheet from INEC and the signature on the sheet is not mine too”.

Tukur Mustapha also told the Tribunal that there was no election at unit 006, “because the INEC officials did not bring any election materials at the polling unit.

“But INEC announced a result with my name written on the result sheet without a signature.”

On his part, AbdulRahman Lawal told the Tribunal that election was conducted in his polling unit 003 and that he was given a pink copy of the result with his name and signature on it as an agent.

He, however, said that he was later shown another result sheet emanating from INEC with different scores by the political parties.

Another witness, Bello Ubaidullah, who served as collation agent of the petitioners at Kwarbai ward A, said “there was no collation of results at the entire 26 polling units of the ward because the election was disrupted by security agents.

“I was surprised to see results from INEC, signed by another ward collation agent we didn’t know.”

Meanwhile, the Ibrahim Bako-led Tribunal which had so far taken a total of 16 witnesses, has adjourned to June 19, for the continuation of hearing.

Elisha Kurah, the counsel to the petitioners, who spoke to reporters after the adjournment, said they would take as many witnesses as they could out of the 685 they assembled, within the 14 days given by the Tribunal.

(NAN)

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