In a dramatic turn of events at the ongoing governorship election tribunal in Kaduna, a witness has testified that over-voting took place by 100 votes in his polling unit. The revelation came to light during the cross-examination of witnesses on Monday, shedding new light on the controversial election.
Haruna Abubakar, a businessman, confidently adopted his deposition as evidence before the esteemed Justice Victor Oviawe’s panel. Abubakar revealed that a total of 700 voters were accredited, whereas a shocking 800 votes were counted at the conclusion of the election. This revelation immediately raised eyebrows and cast a cloud of suspicion over the fairness of the election.
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During his testimony, Abubakar further divulged that after he had cast his vote, he stayed back to witness the counting process. However, to his utter dismay, the election result was not announced at the polling unit as mandated by the Electoral Act. This failure to comply with the legal requirements added another layer of doubt regarding the legitimacy of the election.
When questioned by the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alhassan Umar, with regards to the number of valid and rejected votes, Abubakar’s memory failed him, leaving the court with an incomplete picture of the voting process’s details.
Another witness, Hauwa Hussaini, provided her account of events at her polling unit on the day of the election. She arrived promptly at 8:45pm and underwent the necessary accreditation procedures. Hussaini voiced her concerns about over-voting, explaining that it occurs when the number of votes exceeds the number of accredited voters.
Lantana Mikaila, who had previously given her deposition on July 18th, 2023, informed the court that the election process initially progressed peacefully but later descended into disorderliness. Her testimony further highlighted irregularities during the election, contributing to the mounting suspicions surrounding its credibility.
The petitioners, represented by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Isa Ashiru, and his party, called upon five witnesses to testify regarding over-voting in their respective polling units. These witnesses shed light on the lack of transparency and potential misconduct that marred the election process.
As the proceedings drew to a close for the day, the court adjourned the case until July 25th, 2023, to allow for the cross-examination of additional witnesses. This adjournment underscores the importance and complexity of the case, as the tribunal seeks to uncover the truth behind the alleged over-voting and determine its impact on the election’s outcome.
The testimonies given during the hearing have raised serious concerns about the fairness and integrity of the Kaduna governorship election. If substantiated, the evidence presented could have far-reaching consequences and potentially lead to a vote recount or even a nullification of the results.
The ongoing trial has garnered significant public attention, with citizens eagerly following the developments that unfold within the courtroom. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the political landscape of Kaduna and may serve as a litmus test for the credibility of future elections in the state.