Atiku calls 18 witnesses out of 100 to prove fraud at presidential election
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called two additional witnesses to further prove his allegation of malpractice at the Feb. 25 election.
The two make a total of 18 witnesses he has so far called out of 100 witnesses planned for the exercise.
Abubakar and his party filed their petitions against the election of President Bola Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC at the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja.
They are challenging the outcome of the election on the ground that INEC, the electoral umpire, did not conduct the election in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
At the resumed hearing on Saturday, one of Abubakar’s new witnesses, Ms Alheri Ayuba, said she was unhappy at her inability to upload results from her polling unit unto INEC’s Result Viewing Portal.
“There was a form that I filled at the ward centre where I stated that I was not happy at my inability to transmit the result.
“I could not log into the INEC portal. If I had logged into the system and posted the result perhaps it could have “pending’’ status and when network is restored, it would upload,’’ she said.
The witness also told the court that she was not induced or influenced by any politician before or during the election.
The second witness, Ms Sadiya Haruna, told the court that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machine she used malfunctioned.
Haruna told the court that the result she entered manually at her polling unit was what she took to the ward collation officer and that party agents assigned to the unit monitored the entire process.
She said she took a photo shot of the result as collated manually on the result sheet with the BVAS machine, but that she couldn’t ascertain whether it was retained in the machine or not.
Earlier, INEC’s counsel, Mr Kemi Pinhero (SAN) and Mr Akin Olujimi (SAN) counsel for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, objected to the admission of the witnesses’ statements in evidence.
Mr Abiodun Fashanu (SAN), counsel for APC aligned with their objection.
The counsel submitted that their reason for objecting to the admission of the witnesses’ statements on oath would be advanced at the stage of final addresses.
They, however, did not oppose the invitation of the witnesses to testify before the court as well as the presentation of their letters of employment as Presiding Officers for the election by INEC.
Abubakar’s counsel, Mr Chris Uche (SAN) who led both witnesses in evidence prayed the court to discountenance objections by the respondents and admit the witnesses’ testimonies.
Presiding Justice Haruna Tsammani reserved ruling on the objections until the final judgment.
Justice Tsammani also adjourned further hearing in the petition till June 13.