31 of AUGUST 2015: UPDATE TARABA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL ‎

The tribunal resumed sitting after a week break for continuation of hearing of the petitioners witnesses.

The petitioners called ten witnesses in proof of their petition. Two of the witnesses are Pantisawa in Yorro Local Government, three are from Karim-Lamido Local Government, two from Jalingo town, in Jalingo Local Government one each from Kurmi, Ussa and Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The ten witnesses called are:

  • -Shuiabu Tippi
  • -Sani Saleh Bello
  • -Jolly Samuel
  • -Nasiru Musa
  • -Buhari Saleh
  • -Adamu Yau
  • -Saleh Bala
  • -Ibrahim Samuel
  • -Ira Mbande Tukura
  • -Sagiru Gidado

Shuiabu Tippi and Sani Bello Saleh are from Pantisawa in Yorro Local Government Area, Jolly Samuel, Nasiru Musa and Buhari Saleh are from Jalingo Local Government while Ibrahim Samuel, Ira Mbande Tukura and Sagiru Gidado are from Kurmi, Ussa and Zing Local Government Area respectively.
The witness from Pantisawa in Yorro Local Government testified that they were the polling unit Agents in the Governorship election in Yorro Local Government. That after the accreditation, the number that the presiding Officer announced to them was different from the number entered in the result sheet and to them there was an over voting in their respective poling units.
Under cross examination, the witnesses admitted that they don’t know the total number of the people that voted, these witnesses further said they did not handle the card reader to accredit the voters. The witnesses also said that they don’t know the number of the people on queue when voting commenced and that they did not study the result sheet issued to them at the polling unit.
Jolly Samuel who testified as Polling Agent at Karim ‘A’ Ward that there was over-voting in the polling unit where He served as an Agent.
Under cross examination, he was shown the result of the Polling unit which was signed by one Lucky Dauda as the polling agent of A.P.C. He admitted that He was not the one who signed the result of the unit and that He is not Lucky Dauda who signed the result.
The witness further admitted that the result signed by Lucky Dauda was the one given to Him at the Polling unit which he claimed to be the Agent.
Nasiru Musa who claimed that He is from Bikwin Ward and was a poling unit agent during the Governorship election testified that there was over voting in his polling unit.
Under cross examination, it was revealed that one Heziel Abdullahi was the agent representing APC in the polling unit was signed by Him (Heziel Abdullahi) and not Nasiru Musa as claimed.
Saleh Bala from Jalingo who also testified for the petitioners also claimed to be a polling agent in Jalingo Local Government during the Governorship election that there was over-voting in his polling unit during the said election.
Under cross-examination also, it was discovered that Mr. Yakubu Sunday was the real Polling Agent who signed the result on behalf of APC and not Saleh Bala.
The witness admitted that though the result is signed but he is not the one who signed same and that the card reader report and the result sheet which the party tendered in evidence should not be relied upon.
The witness further admitted that he was not the one that did the accreditation and that He did not agree with the figures in the card reader report.
Adamu Yau who testified for the petitioner claimed to be from Jalingo but his deposition on oath shows that he is from Wukari Local Governemnt and not Jalingo. Adamu Yau claimed to be the ward agent of Majidadi ward and through him the result sheet was tendered and admitted as Exhibit A12.
Under cross-examination, the witness said he is not from Wukari and has collation centre is not in Wukari bu Jalingo and that he has forgotten the name of the agents that submitted the result sheet to him.
Sagiru Gidado who claimed to be the ward agent of Bubong ward in Zing Local Government testified that there was over-voting in 4 polling unit of Bubong ward.
Under cross-examination, he admitted that he did not sign the result sheet of his ward and that what is contained in his statement on oath is what the polling unit agents told him.
Ibrahim Samuila who testified as the ward agent of Didan ward in Kurmi Local Government also claimed that there was over voting in the ward.
Under-cross examination it was discovered that Ibrahim Ishaku was the ward agent and not him as Ibrahim Ishaku is the person that signed the result sheet of the ward and not Ibrahim Samuila.
To worsen his case, this witness doesn’t know the number of polling unit in Didan ward. Instead of 12 polling units the witness said we have 11 Polling units in the ward.
Ira Mbande Tukura who testified as the ward agent of Kwanbai in Ussa Local Government claimed there was over-voting in some polling units as his polling agents reported same to him.
Under cross-examination also it was revealed that Ira Mbande Tukura was not the ward agent of Kwanbai as one Mr. Abete Kurutsi signed the result sheets of the ward as the ward agent and not Ira Mbande Tukura.
The witness also said there are eleven polling units and one voting point in the ward but could not identify the voting point. The witness finally said He do not agree with the card reader report.
Buhari Saleh also testified as the ward agent of APC in Bachama ward of Karim-Lamido. Through him the ward result was admitted in evidence and marked as Exhibit A16.
Under cross-examination, this witness said he did not agree with the card reader report tendered by counsel to APC as card reader did not fail in his ward as is contained in the report.
This witness also did not sign the result sheet of the ward. He also admitted that voter register can be used for accreditation and that he was present when the result of his ward was entered in the result sheet.
The tribunal adjourned the matter to 1st September, 2015 for continuation of hearing by the petitioners counsel.
The court of Appeal on the other hand also sat today the 31st day of August, 2015 to determine the appeal filed by Kanu Agabi SAN representing His Excellency the Executive Governor of Taraba State Darius Dickson Ishaku and Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) representing People’s Democratic Party in the Governorship Election petition tribunal.
Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) had earlier filed an appeal challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the tribunal to hear and determine the petition of the petitioners. The appeal is reserved for judgment and should the judgment favour the appellant all acts done in respect of the petition will be declared a nullity and the Tribunal would determine the preliminary objection before taking any further step on the petition. 


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