Nigeria

El-Rufai vs Ashiru: What happened in court on Friday

Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, on Friday presented his first witness as he opened defence of his election before the Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

El-Rufai is the 2nd respondent in the petition against the election filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the March 9 Governorship election, Alhaji Isah Ashiru.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared El-Rufai winner of the election with 1,045,427 votes while Ashiru had 814,168 votes.

The petitioners had claimed that the poll was characterised by massive rigging, ballot stuffing and violence in some parts of the state.

They had earlier closed their case after presenting 135 witnesses.

INEC, the 1st respondent in the petition had also closed its defence after presenting one witness and tones of documents on Thursday.

At the resumed hearing of the petition on Friday, El-Rufai’s counsel, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) asked the Justice Ibrahim Bako-led Tribunal to adjourn till Tuesday after he presented one witness.NAN reports.

The witness, Malam Hussaini Barmo, a member of the Election Planning and Monitoring Directorate of Kaduna State All Progressive Congress(APC), adopted his deposition as evidence before the tribunal.

The witness during cross examination by counsel of APC, the 3rd respondent in the petition, Mr Sharafa Yusuf, confirmed the results from Kubau local government area.
Barmo averred that the results were for voting points where the number of voters exceeded 750 as established by INEC.

The witness told the Tribunal that results from each of such voting points were added to the main polling units and votes were aggregated in forms EC8E.

The witness, however, said he was not a party agent in the election, but got the information from APC agents across polling units, wards and the local governments.

Barmo said: “the only polling unit that I went to was Sardauna Crescent in Kaduna North local government, where I voted.”
The Tribunal has adjourned hearing to July 23, for El-Rufai to call more witnesses.

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