Obi didn’t win in Nasarawa, Atiku’s witness tells court

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Candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 presidential poll Peter Obi did not win in Nasarawa State, a witness, Ibrahim Hamza, told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) yesterday.

Hamza is a witness called by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Atiku Abubakar.

The witness, who acted as PDP’s State Collation Agent (SCA) during the election, claimed that Obi would not have won his state if the election was free and fair.

He claimed to have signed the result sheet under duress, confirmed that by the scores allocated to parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Obi won the state.

Hamza said: “I am not happy with the result. I don’t want the court to accept this result. Labour Party cannot come first in Nasarawa State. That is impossible..we have the authentic result. It is with the National Collation Agent (of the PDP).”

When asked if the said National Collation Agent was still alive, the witness said he did not know.

The witness said he signed a clean copy of the result sheet, which he claimed was later mutilated after he had signed, alleging that all the cancellations in the result sheet occurred after he had signed.

Hamza, who was testifying as the 10th petitioners’ witness (PW10), said these while being cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lawyer to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He told the court that, although he did not know the percentage of votes that Atiku scored in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he was satisfied that the PDP candidate met all the constitutional requirements and provisions to be returned as the winner of the election.

Under cross-examination by lawyer to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), Hamza said he voted during the election after being duly accredited by INEC officials.

He said election results were duly computed, but we’re not uploaded electronically as required.

The witness, who said his party had agents in all the polling units across the state, said: “It was at the point of uploading that the system failed. It happended not only in my polling units, but also in others around the state.”

Under cross-examination by lawyer to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Hamza, who said he was not present at all the polling units during the election, told the court that he visited about 50 to 60 polling units in four wards.

Another witness, Abraham David (PW9), while being cross-examined by lawyer to INEC, Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN) said although Atiku scored 15 per cent of the votes in the FCT, he is entitled to be returned as winner, because even Tinubu who did not score 25 per cent in the FCT was declared the president.

David, who said he acted as PDP’s Collation Agent at the FCT, said his party had agents in all polling units who informed him about what happened in their areas.

The witness, under cross-examination by Olujimi, said although he claimed, in his statement, that INEC collated unlawful votes, he failed to include the figure of the votes he claimed were unlawfully collated in his statement.

David, who claimed that INEC officials did not perform their constitutional responsibilities during the election, said he could not identify the said officials by name.

PW 8 Mohammed Madaki, who said it was the law that a candidate who did not score 25 per cent in the FCT cannot be declared president, noted that since Atiku did not score 25 per cent in the FCT, he was not entitled to be declared president.

Under cross-examination by Aliyu, the witness said he did not witness all the cases of malpractices he claimed in his statement, but that his party’s agents at the polling units witnessed what transpired.

While being cross-examined by lawyer to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Madaki said he has lived in the Abuja for about 35 years and that the FCT was the same as other states in the country.

Madaki, who claimed to have written his statement by himself, was however, unable to explain the word “conscientiously” which was used in the statement.When asked by Fagbemi to tell the court the meaning of conscientiously, Madaki said: “I can’t remember.”

Former Transportation Minister, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who featured as PW 7 said he acted as PDP’s State Collation Agent in Rivers State during the election.

Sekibo said he voted after he was duly accredited, noting that although his state has over 6000 polling units, he visited about 20.

Under cross-examination by Mahmoud, the witness said although he claimed, in his statement, that people were prevented from voting in eight local government areas, he was not present at all the local government areas, but only got information from his party’s agents.

Sekibo said results were not uploaded as required in the polling units he visited and was also told that similar incident occurred in other polling units across the state.

When asked to identify the alleged agents of Tinubu and the APC he claimed caused the disturbance that made it impossible for people to vote, Sekibo said he did not know them by name. He said he concluded based on the way the people acted.

Under cross-examination by Fagbemi, Sekibo admitted not including in his statement the figure allocated to the PDP as its score for the election.

He said the agents of his party, who were assigned to all the polling units are still alive.

Further hearing in the petition has been fixed for 9am today.

Also yesterday, the LP and its candidate Obi tendered results from eight more states, bringing to 20 the number of states in respect of which they have tendered CTCs of results in prosecution of their petition.

Their lawyer, Benbella Anichebe (SAN) tendered from the bar, CTCs of results from 13 local government areas in Ebonyi State, 13 local government areas in Nasarawa State, 25 local government areas in Delta State, 23 local government areas in Kaduna State and 27 local government areas in Imo State.

Another petitioners’ lawyer, Mrs. Valerie Azinge (SAN) tendered results from 18 local government areas in Ondo, seven local government areas in Sokoto and 21 local government areas in Kogi State.

Mrs. Azinge said her clients plan to tender more Forms EC8A from Sokoto as they receive more from INEC.

A third lawyer from the LP/Obi legal team, Patrick Ikwueto told the court that his clients filed an application on June 2 containing questions for INEC to respond to.

Ikwueto said INEC’s responses to the interrogatories were necessary for the prosecution of their petition.

Further hearing resumes in the case at 2pm today.

The Nation

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