Friday, August 21, 2015 11:16 pm
The Taraba Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday admitted 10 APC party agents as witnesses on oath.
The party agents appeared as witnesses in a suit filed by the APC Governorship Candidate, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, who is seeking to nullify the election of Gov. Darius Ishaku of PDP.
Justice Musa Abubakar, the tribunal Chairman, at the resumed hearing, admitted the 10 witnesses presented by Mr Mahmud Abubakar (SAN), Counsel to the petitioner, and adjourned to August 22, for continuation of hearing.
However, the witnesses were examined by Abubakar (SAN), counsel to Alhassan, Kanu Agabi (SAN), counsel to Ishaku; Solo Akuma (SAN), counsel to PDP, and Abayomi Akanmode, counsel to INEC.
The 10 witnesses are Haruna Ahmed, Yinusa Ahmed, Yohanna Calvin, Riman Tsokwa, Idris Ayuba, Akanta Chinda, Adamu Mohammed, Jinadu Suleiman, Aminu Aliyu and Ahmed Usman.
The agents told the tribunal that they presided over polling units at Takum, Lau and Ibi local government areas of the state.
They all affirmed on oath that there were irregularities in the April 11 gubernatorial polls in Taraba.
According to the 10 witnesses, they had submitted a written complaint to the Registry at Jalingo on May 15.
Mr Haruna Ahmed, from Kofar Dogo ward in Takum, said he refused to sign polling unit result sheets because they were “partially mutilated’’, “squeezed’’ and in “dirty forms’’.
“The election at my polling unit was not properly conducted going by the result I saw on the INEC EC8A forms; they were marred with over voting,’’ said the witness.
Ahmed also told the tribunal that the accreditation of voters was done by INEC manually and with the card reader machine.
On his own part, Mr Riman Tsokwa of Takun Constituency 1, told the tribunal that he mentioned the name of his unit presiding officers in his witness statement on oath.
“The election was free but not fair; it was marred with irregularities, if the areas that are marred with irregularities are checked my candidate (Alhassan) stands elected,’’ Tsokwa said.
Similarly, Mr Yinusa Ahmed, an agent with Garin Sarki unit in Lau, told the tribunal that though APC is a new party in Taraba it is popular.
He further told the tribunal that it was announced to them by the INEC officials that APC scored 89 votes in his unit.