Sunday, May 19, 2019 2:07 pm
Justice A.H Suleiman, Chairman, National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has fixed Saturday, May 25 to take more witnesses in the petition of Lawal Adamu, Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kaduna Central Senatorial seat.
Justice Suleiman announced the adjournment after nine witnesses for the petitioners had testified before the Tribunal.
He said the tribunal would on that date also rule on the admissibility or otherwise of the signature specimen provided by Dahiru Umar, one of the nine witnesses that testified before it.
Counsel to the petitioners, Ustas Yunusa Usman (SAN), had applied that Umar’s Signature specimen be also admitted into evidence before the Tribunal.
Usman’s request came following Frank Ikpe, Counsel to the first respondent, Uba Sani, who had put the witness under cross extermination, but declined to tender his signature as evidence before the Tribunal as he did with others.
Ikpe had earlier tendered six other signature specimens taken from other witnesses and were admitted into evidence by the Tribunal.
Recall that Adamu had lost to Uba Sani, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and winner of the Kaduna Central senate seat in the Feb. 23 general election.
He had filed a petition at the Tribunal, challenging Uba Sani, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) alleging massive rigging and ballot stuffing during the poll.
Justice Suleman, at the resumed sitting of the tribunal on Saturday, May 18, admitted nine witnesses out of 96 witnesses the Petitioners said they assembled to testify before the Tribunal.
The Petitioners had said the 96 witnesses would testify on how the election was rigged in the six local government areas that made up the Kaduna Central Senatorial district.
The nine witnesses so far taken said they all served as agents of the PDP during the Feb 23 senatorial election.
They alleged that some members of vigilante service and policemen at Magajin Gari Ward, Birnin Gwari LG snatched ballot papers from the INEC officials.
They said the security men also snatched seven INEC Card Readers, tumb printed and stuffed the ballot papers into five ballot boxes on the election day.
They, however, told the Tribunal that they had no idea that it was any of 1st, 2nd or 3rd respondents that assigned the security agents and the vigilante groups to stuff the ballot boxes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 96 witnesses of the Petitioners are expected to testify before the Tribunal within two weeks.