Kaduna Governorship Election INEC Closes Case At Tribunal
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has closed its case at the Kaduna State Governorship Petition Tribunal on Thursday, after presenting one witness at the on going petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Isa Ashiru, challenging the March 9 election.
Testifying before the tribunal, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Fagam, head of operations at Kaduna State INEC office, the witness said that he received reports from all his officers on the field on Election Day.
Under cross examination by Barrister Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), counsel of the second respondent, Governor Nasir El Rufai, the witness said that no local government INEC staff raise any objections about the conduct of the election.
Alhaji Umar said that although he supervised the entire election, “I didn’t physically visit all the polling units in Kaduna state,” adding that he visited only a select few.
According to the witness, “the report of my staff and my observation informed the evidence before the tribunal that elections held all over Kaduna State on March 9.”
The witness further said that electoral materials were distributed all over the 23 local government areas of the state, adding that “at no time did PDP or its gubernatorial candidate complain that there was disruption of election.”
Umar further said that PDP submitted a list of agents with their photographs. He however denied when a sample of agent’s tag was shown to him, as submitted by PDP as exhibit.
According to him, “this is not the card that was issued by INEC to party agents. Party agent’s card is an ordinary paper, with a passport of the agent, a space provided for the name of the polling unit and a provision for local government electoral officer’s signature.
Under cross examination by the petitioner’s lawyer, Elisha Kurah (SAN), Alhaji Umar Ibrahim Fagam admitted that he is a deputy director at INEC. He further said that he was at the office for about three hours on election day.
The witness reiterated that he was not at all the local governments on election day, neither did he visit all the wards and local government collation centers in Kaduna state.
The witness authenticated a document presented by the counsel (exhibit 235), which is a letter addressed to the REC of Kaduna state, emanating from PDP secretariat.
Similarly, Barrister Kurah stated that the witness listed polling units which he didn’t visit on paragraph 33 of his deposition.
The second respondent will open his case on Friday.