By Francis Nansak, Lafia
Speculations arising from last week’s proceeding at the ongoing Nasarawa State Governorship Election Tribunal between supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and their counterparts in the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is premature and needless.
The tribunal which is sitting in Lafia, the state capital is still ongoing and is yet to decide the fate of both Engineer Abdullahi Sule, then candidate of the APC and Dr David Ombugadu of the PDP, respectively.
It would be recalled that the candidate of the PDP in the March 11, 2023 governorship contest, Dr. Ombugadu, had dragged the APC candidate and incumbent governor, before the tribunal.
Onbugadu, in a petition he filed, is contesting the eligibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in declaring Governor Sule as the winner of the election in Nasarawa State.
The matter which has gone through various stages, started with hearing of the petition, submissions of related documents in support and against the petition, is however at near conclusion as star witnesses to both parties had made appearances before the three-man panel of tribunal judges last week.
In trying to convinced the tribunal, the star witness of the petitioner, Barrister Ayiwulu Baba Ayiwulu, on Thursday identified all exhibits EC8As, EC8As, EC8Cs series and INEC iREV generated results including the purported results falsified by INEC at Gayam , Ciroma, Ashigie wards of Lafia Local Government area among many others from Awe, Doma, Akwanga and Toto LGAs.
The witness claimed that these results are at variance with those declared and duly signed at polling units.
Similarly, and in their open defence, the second respondent, who is the star witness to the APC candidate, Alhaji Aliyu Bello, gave evidence after adoption of his witness statement on oath, as he was cross examined by Mr. Jibrin Okutepa SAN, the lead counsel to the PDP’s candidate.
Alhaji Bello, who is also the Nasarawa State Secretary of the APC, identified some EC8Cs, Bs and Cs series and admitted that there were wrongful collations of results at some wards which are at variance with EC8As series being polling units results.
He also admitted to knowing the content of INEC manual and guidelines for the conduct of the 2023 election, which he identified in the exhibit shown to him by Okutepa.
Going by the various submissions by the witnesses, the matter was later adjourned to Thursday 24th, Friday 24th, and Saturday 26th of August for continuation of defence.
New National Star, reports that until the determination of the case by the tribunal, neither of the parties or their supporters have the locus standi to speculate who is leading in the ongoing case.
Curled from New National Star