…Galadima testifies against Buhari’s election
…Tribunal admits INEC’s final result
…I signed result under duress, alleges PDP agent
Andrew Orolua, Abuja
A Presiding Officer during the February 23 presidential election, on Monday, told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that he personally transmitted the results collated at his polling unit during the poll to a server using a code provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The presiding officer, Adejuyitan Olalekan, entered the witness stand as the third witness for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The petitioners are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Olalekan, who was earlier led by the petitioners’ lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), to adopt his witness statement on oath as his evidence -in -chief, was not asked to mention the state or the polling unit where he worked during the poll.
Under cross- examination by President Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the witness who said he is a lecturer at African Community of Inquiry College of Education in Enugu State, maintained that he personally transmitted the collated results at his polling unit.
“I did it myself as the Presiding Officer. I transmitted through the code provided by INEC,” he said.
Asked by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), of the name and number of the server, Olalekan said he did not have such details.
Following questions asked him by APC’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi, the witness said “without the code, you cannot make any transmission of results.”
When asked further if he attached the code with which he claimed to have transmitted the collated results to his witness statement on oath, he said he did not but had it on his phone.
While being cross-examined by Olanipekun, the witness maintained that all the voters at his polling units voted via card reader as the machine worked perfectly.
He also insisted that INEC did not direct Presiding Officers to allow voters who could not be authenticated by the card reader machine to vote manually with their picture captured.
“No, we were not directed to allow people to vote manually. The card reader worked for every voter who came to my polling unit,” he said.
Also, former political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari and founder of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (RAPC), Engineer Buba Galadima, on Monday, testified as a star witness at the Presidential election tribunal in Abuja, stating that he abandoned Buhari because the president could not fulfill his promises to the electorate.
Galadima made statement while being cross examined by President Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), after he adopted his statement on oath before the tribunal.
He told the tribunal that he abandoned Buhari because “the President was not just and fair”.
He denied Olanipekun’s suggestion that he abandoned Buhari because the President did not appoint him a minister, adding that “I fell out with him because of lack of justice and fairness.”
The witness also said that he would have objected to Buhari candidature when INEC displayed the candidates list but he was out of the country.
However, the witness agreed with Chief Olanipekun (SAN) that in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections, he supported Buhari, adding that after they won the election, Buhari administration failed to fulfill election promises to electorate and “I cannot continue to give my support”.
He also admitted voting in February 23, 2019 presidential election. He said that after he voted at his polling unit, he went to the PDP’s call/situation room to monitor the election.
In answer to another question, Galadima said that his daughter was appointed as a Board member of Nigerian Film Corporation and she was most qualified to hold any appointment.
“My daughter is not working as an Assistant to President Buhari,” he said.
Also testifying, an Assistant Presiding Officer (I), Adedokun Adeoye, on Monday, failed to show the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which provision of the Independent National Electoral Commission’s manual authorised him to transmit the results of the poll.
Adoye, who testified as the petitioners’ fourth witness at the instance of the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, insisted that he and others were trained by INEC to transmit results of the election through a code provided by the commission.
The witness, who was earlier led by the petitioners ’ lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), to adopt his witness statement on oath as his evidence -in -chief, was cross -examined by the respondents’ lawyers.
While being cross- examined by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), Adeoye also insisted that he transmitted the results of the election to INEC server after collation.
Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), confronted the witness with the claim that it was the duty of the presiding officer “to transmit the results in the necessary form to INEC” and not the assistant polling officer’s duty.
The witness insisted that it was assistant polling officer’s duty to transmit the results.
But when shown the guidelines issued by INEC for him to point out where it was stated as part of the duty of assistant polling officer’s to transmit results, Adoye could point out the part.
Mohammed Usman Tata, a PDP agent in one of the polling centres in Jigawa State, also testified on Monday after adopting his statement on oath.
He told the tribunal that he was intimidated, harassed and forced to sign result sheet of the polling units. He told the tribunal that he signed the result under the threat that his name will be removed as beneficiary of ‘N Power Programme” of the Federal Government if he refused to sign.
He said that he did not know names of other political parties’ agents because “there was no election in the area, they just bring the allocated result sheet. They wrote it, it was not the scores of the political parties because there was no election”.
Mustapha Bello, a PDP polling agent at one of the polling units, also adopted statement on oath. Under cross examination, he said that he did not sign the ward result because it was not clear to him.
Also on Monday, the tribunal admitted as exhibit the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) final election result Form CF 001 and marked as SP1.
The tribunal also admitted as exhibit the receipt of payment issued to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in respect of the final result and a letter attached to the receipt and marked as exhibit SP2.
Also admitted as exhibit SP 3 was the Form EC8E final result certified by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu. The tribunal also admitted receipts issued in respect of exhibits SP 3 to SP 13.