Witness Tells Kano Election Tribunal That PDP Pushed For The Rerun Governorship...

Witness Tells Kano Election Tribunal That PDP Pushed For The Rerun Governorship Poll

By Wires Editor | The Trent on August 6, 2019
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Kolapo Olusola, Kayode Fayemi, Asuquo Amba, Caleb Ikechukwu, kogi, offa COURT bail

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kano state chapter urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the Gama ward results in the March 9th governorship election, its Nassarawa Local Government Coalition Agent, Umar Tanko Yakasai has disclosed on Friday, August 2, 2019.

Yakasai, while adopting his depositions the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, presided by Justice Halima Shamaki, sitting at Miller road told the tribunal the agents representing the political parties that contested in the governorship race, in reaction to the discrepancies that trailed the poll in Gama ward, deliberated and agreed to the cancellation of the results of all polling areas where there were disruptions of the process.

According to him, there were issues of over voting in polling units in Gama ward, disclosing that all the party agents present at the collation scene consented and signed the agreement calling for the election to be cancelled, culminating into INEC’s verdict for a rerun in Gama ward, on March 23, 2019.

He further informed the court that the agreement signed by the party agents conceding to the cancellation was written in his personal hand writing.

According to him, during the Nassarawa Local Government Governorship election collation process, pandemonium broke out ,noting that in the process the original INEC result sheets were burnt by undisclosed persons.

He further disclosed he personally carted away the remaining election materials into a nearby room, he said “I locked myself and the material up.”.

Speaking under cross examination, from Barrister Offiong Offiong (SAN) counsel to Gov Ganduje, the witness, Yakasai revealed that he failed to hand over the electoral materials to INEC officials and security operatives, explaining that, 30 minutes after the crisis ended, he personally conveyed the materials to police headquarters in Bompai.

Earlier in his testimony, chairman PDP Kano state chapter, Rabiu Suleiman Bichi stated that the party dispatched a missive to INEC requesting the electoral umpire to cancel the elections of the results in the polling units were cases of electoral violence and over voting were recorded.

Bichi, who alleged that there were unilateral cancellations of some polling units by INEC, admitted that INEC has the discretional powers to cancel the results in Gama, alongside the powers to order the conduct of a rerun polls.

He stated that, if the PDP had won the March 23 governorship election rerun, the party would still have challenged the results of the March 9th elections in court emphasising that “illegality is illegality.”

Also in his testimony, INEC Gama ward collation officer, Josiah Kubai in his evidence note that the governorship election of 9th March held in Gama ward were disrupted leading to the disappearance of result sheets and other electoral documents.

Kubai, who disclosed that he is a civil servant attached to the department of Chemistry, Bayero University Kano, BUK informed the court that at Gama ward the original copy of INEC form EC8A went missing.

Kubai confirmed to the tribunal that INEC reserves the powers to cancel results in places where there were issues of disruptions and over voting, he said the commission at that juncture is mandated to call for a rerun.

An analyst and statistician of the PDP, Samuel Odota in his evidence, on Saturday told the tribunal that his investigations revealed that INEC cancelled the results in 71 out of 88 polling units, resulting in the cancellation of the March 9th governorship elections across the state.

Adding that out of 88 polling units that were cancelled by the commission, only 17 polling units had no cases of over voting, adding that the investigations unveiled that there were cases of over voting in 71 polling units.

Prior to the Mach 9th rerun, Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the PDP was on the lead with 26, 000 votes, while the number of registered voters in areas affected by the cancellation stood at 36,110, Josiah told the court.

Speaking under cross examination, by counsel to the All Progressive Congress, APC, Barrister Alex Iziyon(SAN), Josiah, who stated that he was contracted by PDP to conduct an analysis on the outcome of the 2019 Kano governorship election, confessed that his previous analysis on four occasions were turned down by various Governorship Petition Tribunals, including the Supreme court.

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