PEPC: Atiku Abubakar, PDP calls additional four witnesses

…Tender more evidence

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday called additional four witnesses in support of their joint petition challenging the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 , 2023 presidential election.

The four witnesses who testified before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja all alleged that figures were allotted to a presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Atiku Abubakar and his party joined INEC, Tinubu and the APC as respondents in their petition where-in they alleged gross violation of the Constitution, Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of the election that produced Tinubu as winner.

The 7th witness, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, while adopting his statement on oath told the court that he transversed 20 polling units in Rivers state despite the disturbances during the election, even though he did not mention the names of the alleged perpetrators of the crisis in his statement on oath.

Mohammed Madaki, the FCT chairman of the PDP and the 8th witness called by the petitioners, who was led on evidence by Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), counsel to the Atiku and the PDP identified Exhibit EC37, which is the detail of election results from the FCT and was tendered before the court.

Under cross examination by counsel to INEC, Abdulahi Aliyu (SAN), the witness said, it was not the pictures of the results from polling units captured by the Biomodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) that were posted to INEC’s I-Rev because the uploading did not take place at the polling units owing to the failure of the BVAS machines.

Madaki said there are 2, 822 polling units in FCT and that the 10, 295 polling units he referred to in his statement on oath are parts of the over all polling units across the country.

He told the court, while being cross examined by counsel to the APC. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) that he is not aware that there were 176, 606 polling units across the country during the February 25 presidential election.

Another witness, Abraham David, while adopting his statement on oath deposed to on March 21 said Atiku Abubakar deserved to be declared winner of the presidential election even though he did not score the 25 percent votes cast in the FCT.

He confirmed that the PDP presidential candidate scored 25 percent of the votes cast in FCT and alleged that unlawful votes were collated at polling units by INEC in favour of Tinubu.

The Nasarawa state collation agent for the PDP, Ibrahim Hamza was the 10th witness called by the petitioners and he told the court that the collated election result sheet he signed was allegedly altered after his enforcement.

“My Lord, the copy of the election results I signed has no cancellation”, he told the court after been shown Exhibit EC 25, which is the result sheet from Nasarawa state.

He said election results were not uploaded after the election, saying that the system failed during the process of uploading.

“We signed the results under duress to enable us obtain a copy. Signing the result sheet was made a condition for getting a copy of the results of the election in the state” he said and alleged that the results were altered after his enforcement.

Under cross examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to Tinubu, the witness said, he wants the court to reject the results and that Atiku Abubakar met all the constitutional provisions to be returned as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.

After the testimonies of the witnesses, the five member panel of Justices of the court headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned further hearing till June 6, 2023.