Map of Nasarawa State used to demonstrate the story.
Cecilia Onah, Lafia
Two witnesses presented by the Peoples Democratic Party at the ongoing Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State on Wednesday, lamented irregularities in Gayam and Ciroma electoral wards of Lafia Local Government Area during the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.
The governorship candidate of the PDP, David Ombugadu, had dragged the incumbent Governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Abdullahi Sule to court after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared him winner of the election.
At the continuation of hearing in Lafia, the both witnesses who were led to testify to the tribunal by the counsel for the PDP, Jibril Okutekpa, lamented about the irregularities during the poll when they were crossed examined by counsels to the APC, the State Governor and INEC.
The first witness, an agent of the People’s Redemption Party for Gayam electoral ward, narrated that he refused to sign the form EC8B due to the differences in the total scores collated by party agents and the scores entered by the ward electoral officer.
The second witness, an agent of the Action Alliance party for Ciroma electoral ward corroborated the first witness, and explained that the results entered by the electoral officer did not tally with the number of accredited voters from the 102 polling units in the ward.
Earlier, during their cross examinations, counsel to the Governor, Wole Olanikpekun, counsel to the APC, Matthew Burkaa and Counsel to INEC, Ishaku Dikko questioned the legality of the witnesses as party agents.
In their separate submissions, they argued that for an agent to be accredited, the political party must write a letter to INEC fourteen days before the election with two passport photographs of the agent, and urged the tribunal to disregard their claims.
The tribunal also received testimonies from the PDP agents in Boher polling unit of Akwanga LGA and Gadabuke polling unit of Toto LGA of the state, who also complained of irregularities during the March 18 governorship election.
After listening to the testimonies of the witnesses, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Oyeyemi Ajayi, adjourned its sitting to Thursday July 27, 2023 for continuation of hearing.