From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate for Kwara Central, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, yesterday appeared before the election petition tribunal to defend his petition challenging the victory of Senator Bukola Saraki in the March 28 Senatorial election.
Abdulrazaq who appeared as the second witness in the case was in the dock and cross-examined for almost 30 minutes by counsel to the first to third respondents. His personal assistant, Oloyin Abdullateef Adebayo, was the first witness who testified in court during previous sitting. He claimed the election of Saraki who is the current Senate
President, was massively rigged.
The petitioner who spoke to newsmen after the court session, said he was determined to get justice in the matter, saying there was never election in Kwara Central on March 28.
His words: “It is not about unseating him; it was about the provision of the electoral system. There was no election. You can see from what Bukola did at the National Assembly election by hiding in the car, changing Senate rules. It shows you what they did in our own election that they did not conduct free and fair election. So what happened in our own election is even worse than what the whole nation saw in Abuja. So we are determined to ensure that justice is done.
“My prayers to the tribunal is to declare me the winner because I won the election. We had 40 per cent turn out, 20 per cent of the voters did not go through the card reader and it is illegal for anybody to vote without encountering the card reader. The card reader has to
reject your thumbprint before you are asked to use the accreditation form. But in occasion where the card reject three, four, five, six, seven people, then you have to stop using the card reader and seek for a new one or conduct election the next day. But what they just did was that they did not even attempt to fix the card reader, they just used the accreditation form to stuff the ballot boxes.”
The respondents’ counsels included Yusuf Ali (SAN) for the first respondent (Saraki), Abdulwahab Bamidele for the second respondent (All Progressives Congress, APC) and Dr. Aliyu Alarape Salman, (SAN) who stood in for the third respondent, INEC.
Prior to the cross-examination of the petitioner, the tribunal had admitted the documents used for the election as tendered by the petitioner’s counsel amidst opposition by Saraki’s counsel.
Ali opposed the tendering of the documents on the ground that they were not listed or referred to in any of the deposition of the witness. His APC counterpart aligned himself with the submission of the first respondent’s counsel.
However, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr. John Obumse gave reasons for the admissibility of the documents, saying they are relevant to the instant case.
However, the tribunal chaired by Justice Joshua Majebi admitted the documents containing the materials used for the election as obtained from Abuja as exhibit ‘P1’.
The petitioner also withdrew two motions earlier filed before the tribunal to replace a new one filed on Thursday July 30 where he prayed the court to allow him to file additional witness statement on oath.
The matter was later adjourned till Saturday, August 8 for continuation of hearing.