The tribunal resumed its sitting for continuation of hearing of the petitioners’ witnesses. The petitioners called seven witnesses today from Wukari, Takum, Zing, Karim-Lamido, Ussa and Ibi L.G.A of Taraba State.
The seven witnesses called are:
1. Bawa Umar Yusuf (from Wukari L.G.A).
2. Sani Abdullahi Tulu (from Takum L.G.A).
3. James Amagu (from Ussa L.G.A).
4. Kasimu Bello Maigari (from Zing L.G.A).
5. Abdullahi Alabura Mohammed (from Karim-Lamido L.G.A).
6. Tanko Yusuf (from Wukari L.G.A).
7. Sanusi Mohammed Fari (from Ibi L.G.A)
BAWA UMAR YUSUF:
This witness who testified in Hausa Language, a business man, Muslim from Fuje ward of Wukari L.G.A adopted his witness statement on oath (deposition) and tendered the result sheet of Fuje Ward of Wukari Local Government Area. This witness clearly informed the tribunal under cross examination by KANU AGABI, SAN that what he told the court is what he gathered from his polling units agent, not what he witnessed himself. He also confirmed to the tribunal under cross examination by the said KANU AGABI, SAN, that in the card readers report, card reader machine failed for 384 times in Fuje Ward and 4,744 in all of Wukari L.G.A per the Report contained in Exhibit A2 (the Card Reader’s Report) which same is tendered by the petitioners. Also, this witness under the rigours of cross examination by Chief. Solo Akuma, SAN. The witness (BAWA UMAR YUSUF) admitted that there are seventeen Polling Units in Puje Ward of Wukari L.G.A and that he did not conduct accreditation in any of the Polling Units nor have the knowledge of how it was conducted but only relied only on information he gathered from his agent. In essence, what he was saying is that his testimony is just mere hearsay evidence. He also confirmed to the court that polling Units results were entered correctly into the ward result sheet in which he tendered to the court. This shows that he agreed with the result despite the fact that there was over voting in favour of his party (APC) in Hakimi Shishi I and II Polling Units. This came as a result of cross examination by A. J AKAMODE (ESQ).
SANI ABDULLAHI TULU (FROM TAKUM L.G.A).
This is a petitioners second witness of today who testified in English language, adopted his deposition and tendered exhibit A31 and exhibit A32 (1 – 6) this witness claimed to be the agent of APC in Takum LGA, but the result sheet exhibit A31 shows that is one Danjuma Polycarp a legal practitioner that signed the exhibit as APC Takum local government agent. Under cross examination the worthless confirmed to the tribunal that there was accreditation before voting in the local government and that card reader, voters register were used before voting and that he did not conduct accreditation of voters and added that he agreed with the wards where APC won but disagreed with the results of the remaining wards that PDP won. This witness confirmed to the tribunal under cross examination by A.J.AKAMODE, ESQ that Takum is a PDP local government whereby the two members of the state house of assembly are from PDP likewise the state governor (His Excellency Arch. Darius Dickson Ishaku) the witness also admitted that the allegation of malpractice in their petition particulars of which are not stated in his deposition which he adopted as evidence to be used by the tribunal and that as educated he did not complain about the signature of the said Danjuma Polycarp in his deposition even the issue of over voting, he did not mention particulars in the sais deposition
JAMES AMAGU (FROM USSA L.G.A).
This witness testified in English language, and a Christian. He tendered forms EC8C and EC8B of Ussa L.G.A. the witness told the tribunal under cross examination that he signed exhibit A33 (EC8C )that is the result sheet of Ussa L.G.A he admitted further that card reader never failed in Ussa L.G.A while card readers report shows that in Ussa L.G.A card reader fails for a 24043 times. Undercross examination by CHIEF SOLO AKUMA, SAN he admitted that he did not collect polling unit result directly he admitted in Kwesati, Fikyu & Kpambo Puri wards of Ussa L.G.A he did not collect result sheet from polling agents but from ward agents and APC won in all the four wards despite the over voting that are manifestly clear on the records and that he agreed with the results
KASIMU BELLO MAIGARI (FROM ZING L.G.A).
A business man who lives in Zing town of zing L.G.A testified in Hausa language a Muslim tendered exhibit A35 and exhibit A36 (I-7) this witness also tendered incidence form he admitted under cross examination that their agents signed at the polling unit signed 79 polling unit result from Zing L.G.A. The witness also confirmed to the tribunal that accreditation and voting took place at the polling units in Zing L.G.A and that he was not present when the accreditations and voting took place at the polling unit. He also added that the document they tendered to the tribunal is genuine documents. Finally, the witness admitted that the allegations of over voting and malpractice during the election they did not specify in their witness statement on oath.
ABDULLAHI ALABURA MOHAMMED (FROM KARIM-LAMIDO L.G.A):
A Business man adopted his deposition and tendered exhibit A38 and exhibit A39 (1-7) he also tendered two volumes of incident forms in his answer to cross examination questions. He denied signing the exhibit but admitted that that the exhibit tendered were genuine. Also he told the tribunal that there was no use of incidence form but tendered two volumes of incidence forms. The witness categorically told the tribunal that he was at his polling unit on the day of election up to 4:25pm but get evidence in respect of the polling units in the L.G.A. the witness also told the court that card reader did not fail. The witness admitted there was re-run election in some polling units in Karim-Lamido on the 25th day of April 2015 but tendered the results in respect of the 11th and 12th April, 2015 which were cancelled to prove allegations of over voting and malpractice. This shows that the allegations they made in their petition are false.
TANKO YUSUF (FROM WUKARI L.G.A):
This witness testified in English language, a Muslim and resides at No. 1 Sangari Street Marmara ward of Wukari L.G.A he adopted his deposition and tendered exhibit A41 and A42 he also Incidence Forms (10 volumes) of Wukari L.G.A though he denied signing exhibit A41 because of irregularities but admitted that the document are genuine. Under cross examination he told the tribunal that there was a re-run election in four of the polling units of Wukari LGA on the 25th April, 2015 result of the said re-run election were collected in a different sheet but surprisingly the petitioners tendered a different result and claimed that it was the result given to them by the APC agent in essence no result in respect of the 25th April 2015 re-run result is tendered to the tribunal by either the witness or the petitioners. The witness clearly told the tribunal that the issue of over voting in the areas where APC won like BANTAJE WARD, KENTE WARD, JIBU WARD, CHONKU WARD are not over voting, over voting can only occurred where PDP won.
SANUSI MOHAMMED FARI (FROM IBI LGA):
A Muslim from Anguwan Gwajigo, Nwonyo Ward, Ibi LGA and a Fisherman and is the last witness taken today who testified in Hausa language adopted his deposition and tendered exhibit A44, exhibit A45(i-x) and exhibit A46.
Exhibit A44 is the Local Government Result Sheet in which the witness signed as agent of APC and obtained a copy of same and transmitted it to the State Collation Officer (Form EC8C) the witness complained of over voting and the particulars of same is not captured in his deposition in which he adopted before the tribunal and that the allegations of over voting took place at the polling units level not at the words or local government collation centre, this witness told the tribunal under cross examination that over voting can occur where PDP won not where APC won he also admitted that the evidence he gave is a hear say i.e. what he gathered from wards and polling units of his political party (APC).
Finally the witness told the tribunal that election involve: Accreditation, voting, counting and recording of votes in the result sheets and that all have been done at the polling units and wards levels before coming to him at the local government level that to him the tribunal should declare the petitioners as the winner of the election despite the contradictions in the petitioner pleadings/prayers to the tribunal.
The tribunal at this juncture adjourned the hearing of the petition to omorrow the 3rd day of September, 2015 for continuation of hearing of the petitioners’ witnesses.
WRITTEN BY: Hamza Jaji