Atiku Summons 18 Witnesses Out of 100 to Substantiate Allegations of Fraud in Presidential Election

Atiku Summons 18 Witnesses Out of 100 to Substantiate Allegations of Fraud in Presidential Election

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has introduced two additional witnesses to strengthen his claim of electoral malpractice during the February 25th election.

With these two witnesses, the total number of witnesses called by Abubakar now stands at 18, out of the planned 100 witnesses for the proceedings. Alongside his party, Abubakar filed petitions against the election of President Bola Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja.

The crux of their challenge lies in the contention that INEC, as the electoral body, failed to conduct the election in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Electoral Act of 2022. During the latest court hearing on Saturday, one of Abubakar’s new witnesses, Ms. Alheri Ayuba, expressed her dissatisfaction with her inability to upload the results from her polling unit onto INEC’s Result Viewing Portal.

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“There was a form that I filled at the ward centre where I stated that I was not happy at my inability to transmit the result.

“I could not log into the INEC portal. If I had logged into the system and posted the result perhaps it could have “pending’’ status and when network is restored, it would upload,’’ she said.

During the court proceedings, the witness, Ms. Sadiya Haruna, informed the court that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine she used had malfunctioned. She clarified that the manual result she entered at her polling unit was the same result she presented to the ward collation officer. Haruna added that party agents assigned to the unit closely monitored the entire process. She mentioned that she had taken a photo of the manually collated result on the result sheet alongside the BVAS machine, but she could not confirm whether the BVAS machine retained the result.

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Meanwhile, another witness, Ms. Alheri Ayuba, affirmed that she had not been influenced or induced by any politician before or during the election.

Upon hearing the witnesses’ statements, objections were raised by the legal counsel representing INEC, President Bola Tinubu, and Vice-President Kashim Shettima. However, they did not oppose the witnesses’ testimony or the presentation of their employment letters as Presiding Officers for the election.

Abubakar’s counsel, Mr. Chris Uche (SAN), led the witnesses in presenting their evidence and urged the court to disregard the objections raised by the respondents and admit the testimonies of the witnesses.

Justice Haruna Tsammani, the presiding judge, reserved ruling on the objections until the final judgment. The further hearing on the petition was adjourned until June 13.

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