The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate,Atiku Abubakar yesterday continued their defence of petition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election with sets of witnesses singing discordant tunes.
Counsel for the petitioners, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, commenced the activity of the day with the presentation of Alhaji Tanko Bichi, a local government collation agent for PDP in Katsina State for his testimonies.
Bichi, in his evidence in chief alleged that the election in his area was marred by widespread malpractices but could not substantiate the claim when he was crossed-examined.
On his part, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, Katsina State chairman of the PDP said the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the state was different from figures collated from the various polling units and wards.
Majigiri, who was also the State Collation Agent for the PDP claimed that the result sheets containing the outcome of the election in the state signed by various party agents again showed that Atiku won in Katsina State.
He alleged that second petitioner (Atiku) scored a total of 905,000 votes while Buhari scored 872,000 votes as against the 160,203 votes and 1,555,633 votes recorded for the contestants respectively by INEC.
Majigiri also explained that the 34 adhoc staff engaged by the electoral commission were substituted with the second respondent’s agents to perfect the rigging.
When crossed examined however, Majigiri was unable to provide cogent insights on how Atiku was rigged out of the election in the state.
Majigiri, also failed to present either an original or duplicate copies of the acclaimed signed election result sheets that reflected Atiku’s victory in the state.
The state chairman of the PDP could not also advance reasons why those materials were not brought before the tribunal.
Alhaji Salisu Funtua, another Local Government Collation Agent for PDP, said that INEC had cancelled all the results from polling units and wards where card readers failed.
He said his acceptance to be a witness in the petition stemmed from the widespread cancellation of results emanating from the non use of the card reader to accredit the voters.
When asked if he voted, Funtua affirmed that he indeed voted, but that the right of others in the local government to do same was denied.
He was further asked whether those affected by his claim of denial were still alive, Funtua equally agreed with counsel for the respondents that all of them could not have died just yet.
Also, Malam Usman Musa, a local government collation agent for the PDP in Katsina, said the total number of votes cast in the areas under his supervision exceeded the number of accredited voters.
On whether there was accreditation, Musa said there was partial accreditation but that he had a proper accreditation.
Alhaji Umar Usas, another Local Government Area Collation Agent for PDP in Katsina state, attested to the fact that INEC carried out a proper accreditation in most of the polling units and wards.
He, however, said all disputed results from the 281 polling units as a result of over voting were cancelled by the electoral body.
Usas, however, failed to state in his deposition that card readers were abandoned for manual accreditation.
On his part, Mr Ibrahim Musa, also a Local Government Area Collation Agent for the PDP claimed that voting commenced early in most polling units under peaceful condition.
Usas explained that he neither remembered the total votes allotted to the PDP nor was able to grasp the total number of political parties that contested the election.
He, however, said that voting ended in most polling units at about 3pm, adding that he was not present when the counting of the votes was done.
Mr Audu Sani, a Local Government Area Collation Agent in Niger State, said only the Returning Officer was officially mandated to declare results from the election.
He explained that his role was simply to monitor and collate results from PDP agents at polling units and ward levels, adding that only INEC results counted.
Sani, however, alleged that thugs suspected to be agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) disrupted the flow of the election in Lapai as Village Heads were used to rig the election.
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