By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has summoned the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Zamfara State to appear before it today.Atiku and Buhari
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ABUJA—The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has summoned the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, and Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Zamfara State to appear before it today.
The order followed a subpoena the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, secured from the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel.
The petitioners are challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress, APC, as winner of the February 23 presidential election.
Meanwhile, at the resumed proceeding at the tribunal, counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, accused INEC of deliberately frustrating their case.
He told the court that both Yakubu and the Zamfara REC ignored a subpoenaed duly served on them to appear with specific documents with respect to the case.
In a ruling, Justice Garba noted that records before it indicated that the INEC boss was served with the subpoena on July 15.
He held that both Yakubu and Zamfara State REC have a statutory duty to obey the subpoena issued to them.
Consequently, he ordered them to appear with the required documents by noon today.
Results from areas under herdsmen attack shocked me – Witness
Also at the hearing, yesterday, a Ward Collation Agent, Aliyu Abdullahi, told the tribunal that he was shocked when he heard results the INEC released in two wards in Nasarawa State where voters ran away owing to attack by herdsmen.
Abdullahi, who appeared as the 52nd witness, said he was surprised when he heard during live broadcast of the presidential election, that “area where people were displaced due to communal clashes between Tiv people and Fulani herdsmen produced results.”
According to him, “because of the clashes, people had to run away from the area.”
Under cross-examination, the witness told the tribunal that though the area was deserted, INEC retained two polling units in it.
He said as the Ward Collation Agent for the PDP during the presidential election, “I did not collect the result. I refused to sign it.”
He told the tribunal that other PDP agents that were posted to the two affected polling units are still alive.
Earlier, in his testimony, another Ward Collation agent from Karu Ward also in Nasarawa State, Dangana Barde, insisted that Atiku defeated President Buhari.
He told the tribunal that Atiku polled 22,580 votes, and Buhari got 9,407 votes from the ward he said had 13 polling units.
Barde, who testified as the PW-53, said he was surprised that INEC later cancelled the result at the Local Government Collation Centre without adducing any reason.
“The result was taken to the LG Collation Centre and handed to the LG Collation Agent. After the submission, we were asked to go out of the collation centre. I was shocked to hear later that APC won.”
Under cross-examination, he admitted that Karu had over 100 polling units.
Witness breaks down in tears, says PDP supporters were shot in Kogi
A witness, Arome Yahaya, wept uncontrollably before the tribunal, alleging that supporters of PDP were shot in Kogi State during the presidential election.
Yahaya, who appeared as the 57th witness, said he served as a ward collation agent during the election.
He told the tribunal that thugs invaded his ward, shot sporadically and carted away all the electoral materials, adding that one of the two people that sustained serious gunshot wounds during the raid later died.
The PW-57 said owing to the attack, he could not supervise the 29 polling units in his ward, which he described as a stronghold of PDP and Atiku in Kogi State.
He said: “There were so much gunshots that I had to go into hiding inside the bush for the whole duration of the election.”