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KWARA TRIBUNAL: MY PARTY STALWART SIGNED FORM EC8B AS INEC OFFICER -PDP WITNESS

By NBF News
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Kwara Governorship Election Petition Tribunal judges, lawyers watched in disbelief as a PDP ward collation agent for Shinawu/Tunbuyal Ward in Baruten Local Government Area, Halidu Sulayman, confessed that neither he nor any other parties' agents signed on Form EC8B, the result on which formed part of the outcome announced by the INEC.

Form EC8B was the result sheet for any particular electoral ward. Sulayman said he was so excited at the outcome of the poll that he forgot to sign the result. He also said he could not recall seeing any other party agent signing the document as required by law.

He was the 16th witness to the first and second respondents - Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and his deputy, Peter Kishra, whose election is being challenged by ACN governorship candidate Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN).

Sulayman had claimed in his statement on oath that the election was free, fair, and credible, and that the INEC officials conducted proper accreditation and did their job in strict adherence to the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

Confronted with Form EC8B for the ward, he was asked to tell the court whether he knew one Oni Adesola Odunayo whose signature featured solely on the document and Sulayman identified him as a PDP stalwart in his ward. No political party' agent, including PDP's, signed the document containing the result for the ward.

Another witness, Mohammed G. Mohammed, stated in various aspects of his statement on oath that he simultaneously worked at Wards 1, 3, and 4, where he insisted election was free and fair as he personally witnessed accreditation and voting in those areas. When asked during cross examination by ACN counsel, Charles Edosomwan (SAN), whether he indeed worked in these three wards where he claimed election went smoothly, Mohammed said he only worked in Ward 4 (with 13 polling units) where he personally witnessed accreditation and voting.

Mohammed, witness 15, also claimed in Paragraph 6 of his deposition that ACN polling agents was directed not to sign the results in units where they lost, a claim found to be false when Edosomwon confronted him with Form EC8A for open space polling unit in the same ward (Exhibit 242) and found that ACN agents indeed had signed in areas where their party lost.

Mohammed Babakudu, a PDP witness from Lafiagi Ward 2 of Edu Local Government Area, told the tribunal that it was not true that one Alhaji Makama brought his underage children to vote on April 26 or that the ACN Senatorial Candidate for Kwara North, Musa Audu was arrested and prevented from voting.

Babakudu however, contradicted himself during cross examination when he said whereas he knew Alhaji Makama he did not know any of his children, thereby subjecting to doubt his denial that there was underage voting by Makama's children or any others.

He also confessed to knowing Musa but confirmed not seeing him throughout the election day.

Witness 14 for the first and second respondent and PDP polling agent for Samaso Primary School 001 of Lafiagi Ward (Edu LG), Muhammed Abdulkadir, signed conflicting signatures on his statement on oath and Form EC8A, both of which he claimed to have signed.

When asked during cross-examination to sign the two signatures found on the two documents, Abdulkadir again gave contradictory signatures. Edosomwan then presented the conflicting signatures as exhibit before the tribunal.

Abdulkadir also claimed conflicting statuses - student and then a farmer during cross-examination.