Tribunal asks INEC to produce Kwara gov-elect’s documents May 22
The governorship election petitions tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, yesterday adjourned till May 22, 2019 to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produce documents on the educational qualifications of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the March 9 election.
Pre-trial hearing on two petitions from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Razak Atunwa, as well as Action Alliance (AA) challenging the electoral victory of the APC’s candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, began on Wednesday.
After listening to counsels’ argument and counter-argument on the authenticity of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate submitted to INEC by the APC candidate, the tribunal fixed May 22 for continuation of pre-trial hearing and to enable INEC produce documents in its custody.
Counsel to the PDP candidate, Kingsley Odeh, continued his argument over the authenticity of Abdulrazaq’s WAEC certificate.
However, counsel to the governor-elect (second respondent), Salman Jawondo, had tendered the photocopy of WAEC certificate of another person to the tribunal to show that names or initials of candidates could be abbreviated.
PDP’s counsel argued that “WAEC does not abbreviate surnames,” even if it were to abbreviate first names.
Odeh, who identified conflict in the documents tendered by Jawondo, said the governor-elect submitted a WAEC certificate with Razaq A.P. in 2019 and one with Razaq A.R. in 2014.
“That is the conflict,” he said, adding that the photocopy of WAEC certificate tendered by Jawondo was that of General Certificate Examination (GCE) and not that of the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
Meanwhile, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has expressed gratitude to God for making his tenure in office fruitful, even as he thanked the people of Kwara for the opportunity given to him to serve the state.
The governor made this known during the valedictory session of the State Executive Council (SEC), at the Government House, Ilorin.
Ahmed stated that though challenges abound, the memorable and unique opportunity to serve the state for 16 years as commissioner and executive governor was more paramount to him.
He thanked the senate president and former governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for providing him the platform to climb to the top.
The deputy governor, Peter Kisira, described Ahmed as an old friend, adding that working with him was cordial and rewarding, while praying God to guide and protect him.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alh. Isiaka Gold, who described governor Ahmed as kind, humble, generous and God-fearing, thanked him for the opportunity given him to serve in his cabinet.