Election tribunal receives evidence from Maku

The Elections Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State on Tuesday received evidence from 11 of the 13 local government areas presented by a petitioner, Labaran Maku, against Governor Umaru Al-Makura.

Maku, the All Progressives Grand Alliance’s governorship candidate in April 11 election in Nasarawa State, tendered Voting Point Forms and Guidelines for Conduct of Elections, among others.

Maku, who is challenging the declaration of Al-Makura as winner of the governorship election, tendered forms EC 8 A, EC 8B, EC 8C, EC 8D and EC 8E.

All the exhibits tendered were accepted by the tribunal without objection from counsel to any of the respondents.

Maku is challenging the election of Al-Makura on the grounds of overvoting in some local government areas and irregularities by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the conduct of the election.

According to him, INEC did not comply with some provisions of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the election.

Joseph Gadzama (SAN), counsel to Maku, commended the tribunal and all counsel for the maturity exhibited and smooth start of the hearing without unnecessary objections.

Gadzama said his client won the governorship election with over 17,000 votes but was rigged out.

He said: “That is why we are here with evidence to prove his victory and to ensure that he is sworn in as governor of Nasarawa State at the end of the day.”

Similarly, Yusuf Ali (SAN), counsel to Al-Makura, expressed satisfaction with the proceeding.

Ali said the petitioner had affirmed, during cross examination, that INEC guidelines provided for the creation of voting points.

He said: “The stage we are now is not for anyone to pontificate on the direction of the petition.

“We have asked the petitioner relevant questions in line with our defence.”

Ali said the petitioner was alleging overvoting “because they only took results from polling units without reckoning with that of the polling points.

“There was no overvoting at all when you merge the votes from the poling units and the voting points and that is what we are trying to prove.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Maku and APGA had filed the petition against Al-Makura, his All Progressives Congress and INEC.