Yakubu Busari, Jos
Witnesses from Jos North Local Government Area have taken centre stage at the on-going hearing of the Petition by Sen JT Useni and the PDP challenging INEC’s declaration of Simon Bako Lalong as winner of the Governorship election in Plateau State.
Ten of the witnesses testified on Monday July 8 at the resumed seating of the tribunal, while another set of seven witnesses took their turns on Tuesday.
Their complaints centred mainly on cancelation of results alteration, over-voting, intimidation of voters, non-accreditation of voters, allocation of figures, non-functional Card Readers and low voter turnout; yet votes were allocated to favour APC against the PDP and other political parties in their Polling Units.
Sani Najib Abdullahi,Gaddafi Mohammed ,Joseph Nandak Gambo ,and Mubarak Kabir on cross examination told the tribunal that :
“they all saw them using voters cards of many dead people and they were just thump printing. There was no real voting. We were intimidated. Afterwards they just allocated figures, and gave PDP 24 and APC 454. We were not allowed to vote for the candidates of our choice.”
Hamza Ado said many of those who were accredited and those who were not were allowed to vote.
“But my lords, I was not allowed to vote. I was only allowed to sign the result sheets. They forced me to give them the copies and they inserted whatever results they wanted.”
Shafiu Abdullahi of Abba Na Shehu alleged that his supervisor was beaten. “We were threatened with death.”
Mubarak Abdul said after the election was conducted, votes were not sorted out in the presence of Unit party agents and that voters cards belonging to people who were not present at the venue of the exercise were brought in, accredited manually and votes were cast on their behalf.
Another witness Abdullahi Yunusa, a PDP agent at his Polling Unit said results were merely allocated or votes were cast for the electorate who were practically not on ground at the election venue because there was low voter turn out.
Many other witnesses said the election was characterized by over voting, harassment, manipulation of results and alterations of figures.
Meantime, Useni’s legal team has tendered before the tribunal more sets of documents as well as the schedule of the documents submitted.
They consist of INEC Duplicate copies of Statements of Result – INEC Form EC8A and attached Certified True Copies (CTC).
The legal team has also submitted to the tribunal the first set of Register of Voters.
Chairman of the tribunal Hon Justice HA Saleeman received, checked and marked the documents as Exhibits, thus admitting them in evidence.
She said the Tribunal hereby admitted the said documents mark them as exhibits P96-P96A ,P97-P97A ,P98-P98A ,,P98-P98A, P99-P99A, P100-P100A,P101-P101A,P102-P102A,P103-P103A,and P104-P104A,P105-P105A, P106-P106A respectively.