On Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) expressed its opposition to the submission made by one of its staff members during the governorship election petition tribunal in Kaduna.
The petition was filed by Isa Ashiru, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is challenging Governor Uba Sani’s victory, citing alleged irregularities.
Mr. Bonet Gwaza, a Senior System Analyst with INEC, appeared as a witness on July 11 and presented several documents related to the governorship election before the tribunal. These documents included the INEC voters register for Kauru, Lere, Zaria, and Igabi Local Government Areas (LGAs), the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) report, and Form EC40G for the Igabi West constituency.
However, Abdullahi Aliyu, the counsel for INEC, objected to the authenticity and admissibility of the documents. Likewise, Duru Adeleye and Abdul Muhammad, representing Governor Sani and the All Progressives Congress (APC), respectively, rejected the documents presented by the witness.
The respondents’ counsels stated their intention to provide reasons for their objection in their final written addresses.
Despite the objections raised, the tribunal admitted the documents and deposition provided by Gwaza, who acted as a witness for the PDP candidate.
During the hearing on Wednesday, another witness named Danjuma Bello-Sarki presented additional exhibits to support the petitioner’s claim of election rigging.
Bello-Sarki served as the PDP state collation officer for the governorship election held on March 18 in Kaduna State. He submitted duplicate copies of the results from all 8,012 polling units in the state, highlighting that 65 polling units were wrongly cancelled by INEC.
Among the other exhibits presented were the IREV report and the number of registered voters.