A Federal High Court in Abuja, Tuesday, fixed April 23 to begin hearing on a suit seeking to jail one Ladi Hassan, who was agent of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, during the collation of results of the 2015 Kwara Central Senatorial District election.
The court had at last adjourned date fixed Tuesday (March 13) to commence hearing but when proceedings resumed Tuesday, Justice Binta Nyako, asked counsel to the the plaintiff, Sambo Murtala, to file application for leave rather than originating summon for order of mandamus to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute Saraki’s agent in the said election.
Justice Nyako gave the directive after counsel to the plaintiff, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Sambo informed the court that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to respond to the originating summons despite being served with the processes.
Abdurahman Abdulrazaq, who was the candidate of the PDP in the election, is seeking an order of mandamus compelling INEC to prosecute Ladi Hassan, an agent to Saraki during the collation of the results of the 2015 election; and the collating/returning officer, Mrs. Mulkah Ahmed.
Abdulrazaq accuses the INEC officials of manipulating INEC Forms EC 8D (1): forms for summary of results from electoral divisional areas collation at Senatorial District Level; and INEC Form EC 8E (1): Declaration of Result of Election.
The affected officers are: Mrs Mohammed Adenike (Returning Officer for Adigbongbo/Awe/Orimaro); Mrs Balogun Mutiat (Returning Officer for Afon); Ibrahim Tajudeen Olanrewaju (Returning Officer for Balogun Gambari); and Olowoleru Olodan (Returning Officer for Ogidi).
Others are: Abdulrahman Mohammed Rahim (Returning Officer for Warrah/Egbeejila/Oshin); Alhaji Ladi Hassan (Agent to Bukola Saraki); and Dr Mulikah Ahmed, the Returning Officer for the entire Kwara Central Senatorial District.
The plaintiff alleged in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/92/2018, that Saraki was declared the winner of the election on March 28, 2015, when the results were only allegedly collated by just Ahmed and Hassan (Saraki’s agent) at the district level on March 29, 2015.
He attached to his suit two sets of documents, with one set marked Exhibit 1, said to be showing that “the summaries of results from wards and local government areas that make up the senatorial district were finally compiled on March 29, 2015, as the date on each of these forms read the same collation date.”
An affidavit deposed to by the plaintiff’s aide, Adebayo Oloyin, stated in part, “That it is a common sense that collation date will always precede declaration date as the collation dictates declaration of results.”
The deponent explained that the “offence committed” by the persons named cost his boss the merit of his petition at the Election Petition Tribunal challenging Saraki’s election.
“It is a common sense that collation date will always precede declaration date as the collation dictates declaration of result,” he averred.
He told the court that his petitions to INEC and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute the persons involved in the alleged offences have not received speedy action.
The case has been adjourned to April 23 for hearing.