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Tribunal: Hearing resumes on Nasarawa gov’s defence

The ongoing Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State, on Thursday, resumed its hearing of Governor Abdullahi Sule’s defence in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Dr. David Ombugadu.

Ombugadu had filed a petition against Governor Sule of the All Progressives Congress, alleging manipulation of the March 18, 2023 governorship election held in the state.

At the continuation of the defence in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, the Lead Counsel of the 2nd Respondent called on the first witness, Ishaq Dan’Azumi from Wuse Electoral Ward in Awe Local Government Area to testify to the tribunal.

Dan’Azumi, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, told the tribunal that the scores of the parties at the Polling Units recorded in the form EC8As were the same in the corresponding EC8Bs.

Earlier during his cross-examination, Lead Counsel for the PDP, Dr. Samuel Okutepa asked if he signed the ward results, and he agreed that the results were entered correctly from forms EC8As to EC8Bs respectively.

He also affirmed that the APC had not written any petition to the tribunal about the reduction of its votes and additional votes for the PDP.

Also testifying, the second witness Abdullahi Danlami, who is from Sabon Garin in Awe LGA and APC Ward Agent for Makwakiji Electoral ward in the LGA, told the tribunal that the governorship election was conducted peacefully and successfully.

Danlami further explained that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System machines were used during the election and that the Presiding Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission uploaded the result to its IREV portal.

He, however, said that in Kekura primary school (PU 005), the votes of APC were reduced while that of PDP were increased, claiming that he had laid a complaint to the INEC Collation Officer during the polls, and signed the results.

Meanwhile, the PDP Lead Counsel, Dr Okutepa while cross examining him, established that he did not make any complaint to the INEC Collation Officer at the Ward level during the election, hence, it was not contained in his witness statement.

Another witness, Abdullahi Usman from Akiri ward in Awe LGA of the state, attested that the BVAS machines were properly used and results were uploaded on the IREV portal.

While being cross examined, the PDP Lead Counsel, established that the witness was not the APC ward agent in the election, hence, had no idea on the results as well as what transpired on the day of the election.

On their parts, Ahmed Sarki and Abdullahi Al Kassim both from Keffi LGA, told the tribunal that the BVAS machines were used and results were uploaded to the IREV portal respectively.

However, they told the tribunal that in Angwan Nupawa 006 and Angwan yorubawa 017 polling units, the results of APC were reduced while that of the PDP were increased, and appealed to the tribunal to restore the alleged deducted votes of the APC.

After taking the testimonies of the witnesses, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, adjourned its sitting to August 25, 2023 for a continuation of defence by Counsel to the 2nd Respondent.

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