INEC official caught with $10,000 on election day in Nasarawa, Atiku’s witness tells tribunal

A witness for the petitioners from Nasarawa State, Peter Alli, Tuesday told the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, that an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abubakar Kaura, was found with a $10,000 on the day of election.

Ali, who said he was the ward collation officer for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), also alleged that the $10,000 was a bribe for the INEC officer to manipulate the outcome of the election results in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Under cross examination by INEC counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), Ali admitted he reported the matter to the police which he claimed was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Bureau for further investigation.

When asked if he knew whether anyone was charged for the said allegation, he affirmed he did not know, adding that he does not have any report concerning the outcome of the investigation.

Further, Ali said the claim was not a hearsay evidence, saying he personally witnessed the alleged $10,000 found in the custody of the INEC officer.

Also, the INEC counsel asked him if he signed form EC88 under duress. Responding, he said he signed it voluntarily mainly because his party won in the ward.

The witness also asserted that out of the 24 units in the ward, he was only able to receive results of 23 units excluding the unit where the allegation of bribing was allegedly perpetrated.

Other witnesses who testified for the presidential candidate the PDP in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, and the party, posited Atiku was bonafide Nigerian.

Leading the team of the witnesses, a retired career diplomat, Ambassador Mabien Zamaki told the tribunal that Atiku was a Nigerian by birth and nationality, and was therefore legally qualified for the presidential poll.

The ambassador in his evidence said that he was aware with detailed record that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946, at Jada in the northern part of Nigeria.

Led in evidence by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, the retired career diplomat informed the tribunal that Atiku’s record in his former secondary School was not confidential and can be accessed by any body doubting the nationality of the PDP presidential candidate.

The witness, who claimed to have retired from active service in 2006, admitted that he saw the record from the custodian of the record in their secondary school and that the record are still there for anybody to cross check.

Zamaki further told the tribunal that he has fair knowledge of history of Nigeria as it relates to Jada in Adamawa and insisted that in 1946 when Atiku was born Jada was part and parcel of Northern Nigeria and not part of Cameroon as suggested by the APC’s counsel.

He vehemently denied that any part of Northern Nigeria including Jada was ever ceded to Cameroon.

Under cross examination by INEC lawyer, the witness confessed that he was not at the point where Atiku was born but admitted that Major General Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985.

Another witness, Mohammed Kabir Hayatu, a retired Customs Officer, corroborated the Nigerian nationality of the former vice president.

Hayatu, who was also led in his evidence in Chief by Atiku’s lawyer told the tribunal that he came in contact with Atiku’s record in the Nigerian Customs Service where Atiku retired as a senior Customs Officer.

Under cross examination, Hayatu said that Adamawa was part of Northern Nigeria and that Jada fell on the part of Nigeria and not Northern Cameroon.

As at the time of this report 5 witnesses comprising Mabien Zamaki, Mohammed Hayatu, Likita Alli, Temago Sunday Anyamaga and Abubakar Sadiq Abdullahi from Adamawa and Nasarawa states had testified for the petitioners.

Earlier, President Buhari, had presented a video at the tribunal showing the chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu on February 6 in an interview on channels television explaining the challenges likely to be faced ahead of the election in the area of communication and transmission of election results.

The video clip was thereafter admitted in evidence with objection to be raised later by the petitioners at the address stage.

Also testifying, another witness Harry Gunde, in Karu local government of Nasarawa State, alleged falsification and alteration of election results at the council which according to him was carried out at the collation centre and that it was reported to security personnel but no action was taken.

Others who also testified for the two petitioners, are Mohammed Opaluwa, who alleged massive thumbprinting of ballot papers for APC and Jonathan Nasara, a former counsellor, who also alleged that election figures were allotted by APC agents and security personnel to parties in the election.

At the end of cross examination of the 49th petitioners witness, the tribunal adjourned to Wednesday July 17 for continuation of hearing

Author: News Editor

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