The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Borno South Senatorial zone, Malam Kudla Satumari on Tuesday prayed the Borno National and state Houses of Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections in the senatorial district.
Satumari is challenging the declaration of Sen. Mohammed Ndume of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as winner of the Borno South Senatorial District poll conducted on February 23.
Joined as respondents in the petition are the APC and INEC. The tribunal sitting in Nyanya, an Abuja suburb began hearing in the petition filed by Satumari.
In the petition, Satumari averred that the election was marred by corrupt practices and non- compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act and therefore, sought the order of the tribunal to cancel the election and order the INEC to conduct fresh election for the senatorial district within 90 days.
Responding to the petition, Sen. Ndume denied allegations contained in Satumari’s petition. In his reply filed on April 10, he averred that the election was free and fair and not fraught with irregularities and non- compliance with the Electoral Act.
Also, Sen. Ndume denied the allegations and averment contained in the petition and demanded the petitioners to produce proof of the allegations contained in his petition in accordance with the law to the extent of their materiality to the petition.
He therefore, stated that failure to proof the allegations during trial then the petition is defective and incompetent for non-compliance to the Electoral Act.
Counsel for the petitioner, Haruna Kyelek informed the panel that he was in possession of INEC documents relating to the disputed election and sought to tender them as evidence.
However, counsel to Ndume, Maxwell Oru informed the panel that he has just been served by the petitioner with the list of the schedule of documents and would reserve objections till final his address.
Also, counsel for the APC, Prof. Wahab Egbewole agreed with Oru’s position while Oluwafemi Ademola, counsel for the INEC, also confirmed that he has just been served and would reserve objections if any till his final address.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Peter Kekemeke, after listening to the counsels, adjourned further hearing on the petition until today.