The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Monday admitted the final result declared by Independent National Electoral Commission in the February 23 general election as an exhibit.
Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), Counsel for the petitioners – the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar – tendered the document before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man panel as part of his clients’ moves to prove allegations of election malpractice leveled against the conduct of the election.
Also admitted in evidence was a document containing the bio-data of President Muhammadu Buahri submitted to the electoral body.
The chairman of the tribunal also admitted a document containing the total number of registered voters and collected Permanent Voters Cards used in the election.
The receipt of payment dated March 24 and acknowledgment letter issued by the Director of Legal Services of the commission in respect of the above document were also admitted as evidence.
NAN reports that a total of six national dailies were tendered by the petitioners and admitted as evidence by the tribunal.
The national dailies were listed as: Daily Trust (February 8, 2019), Vanguard (February 19, 2019), Nigerian Tribune (February 20, 2019), Thisday (February 24, 2019), Sunday Tribune (February 24, 2019) and Vanguard dated March 26, 2019.
The receipt obtained from the National Library in respect of the certified newspapers was also admitted in evidence.
Meanwhile, another set of result sheets from Zamfara and Kano States totaling 6,806 were admitted as additional evidence from the petitioners.
The petitioners on July 4 tendered a total of 31,371 documents comprising election results sheets from wards, polling units and Local Government Areas from 10 states.
The states were Niger, Yobe, Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Jigawa, Gombe, Bauchi and Kaduna.
Similarly, Alhaji Buba Galadima, a petitioners’ witness, in his evidence-in-chief, told the tribunal that he was the National Chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress.
He also said his party had a Memorandum of Understanding with the PDP to elect a credible person as president of the country.
In his testimony, Galadima said he voted in his polling unit and thereafter went to monitor the election across the country from the PDP situation room in Abuja.
He said the election was marred by malpractices to favour the second respondent.
He also said Buhari was obliged to make public his West African Examination Council result, adding that he (Buhari) failed to annex the document on his nomination form.
Galadima explained that he was a close associate of the second respondent (Buhari) and had supported his presidential election in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 without reservations.
Galadima, however, explained that he backed up from supporting him when issues around his qualification were raised.
He said: “I wanted to support an educated candidate who can provide good governance for the country.”
Ijeoma Peter Obi, a Registered Area Technician employed by INEC, also invited by the petitioners to testify, said he was employed to monitor the function of the card readers in some polling units with the view to transmitting results to the commission’s server.
Obi explained that results from all the polling units he was deplored were sent to the server.
When crossed examined, however, Obi failed to substantiate is claims by failing to give the code number used in sending the results to the acclaimed server.
Similarly, Adejuyitan Olanikan, another acclaimed Registered Area Technician employed by INEC, said results were transmitted to the commission’s server but also failed to state how that was done.
NAN reports that the petitioners have 400 witnesses to testify within 10 days.
Aside the document on the final result declared by INEC, all counsel to the respondents raised objections on the admissibility of the rest exhibits.
They however reserved their reasons until period of adoptions of written addresses.
The Tribunal continues sitting on Tuesday (today).