Tension continues to rise in Nasarawa state as David Ombugadu, PDP gubernatorial candidate, refuses to give up without a fight. He has now introduced a star witness that may shake things up in the tribunal
On Thursday, the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State heard from the Peoples Democratic Party’s star witness, Ayiwulu Baba Ayiwulu.
He testified and pointed out numerous anomalies that occurred during the state’s governorship election in 2023.
David Ombugadu, the PDP’s governorship candidate, earlier petitioned the tribunal, disputing the election victory of All Progressives Congress Governor Abdullahi Sule.
The Lead Counsel for the PDP, Jibrin Samuel Okutekpa, launched his argument at the resumed hearing in Lafia on Thursday by calling on the first subpoenaed witness, the Head of ICT at the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.
During the polls, the witness presented BVAS screenshot printouts of the affected voting units.
However, he only provided two copies, as opposed to the expected five, and claimed that the remaining three were nowhere to be found.
The second witness, Ayiwulu Baba Ayiwulu, who was the PDP State Collation Agent during the governorship race, identified documents generated immediately from the INEC BVAS IReV platform.
They were not compiled in accordance with the INEC rules for the general elections in 2023.
Form EC8As, EC8Bs, and other associated documents are included for both the Governorship and State House of Assembly results of the Azara Electoral Wards of Awe LGA, Kanje/Aburi Electoral Ward of Awe LGA, and Gaiyam Electoral Ward of Lafia LGA.
Ciroma Electoral Ward, Lafia LGA; Ashige Electoral Ward, Lafia LGA; Aliwaza Mada, Doma LGA; Ningo/Boha Electoral Ward, Akwanga LGA; Shege and Gadabuke ward, Toto LGA; and Lafia North state Assembly seat results were also included.
Other results found were Lafia Central State Assembly Constituency Results and a printout of BVAS results from the Nasarawa State governorship elections.
The total number of registered voters in Nasarawa State and the affected areas in question; BVAS printed form EC8As and manual results from all Nasarawa State polling units.
According to Ayiwulu, the total score in form EC8As was incorrectly compiled in form EC8Bs in Ciroma, Gayam, Azara, and Kanje/Abuni wards, while the results of form EC8A in Ashige ward were unlawfully deleted.
When the witness was cross-examined by counsel for INEC, APC, and Governor Sule, respectively, he plainly stated to the tribunal that the previous governorship election in Nasarawa State was marred by several anomalies.
He requested that the tribunal utilize the original and certified true copies with them to compile the whole results correctly using the available forms EC8AS, which are the original pyramids of all election results.
The witness further requested that the tribunal investigate the discrepancies in the accreditation of the governorship election and the State House of Assembly Election in Lafia Central, claiming that the abnormalities were clear.
Following the star witness’ evidence, the PDP Lead Counsel addressed the court and stated that the party was ready to hear the defense of the first, second, and third respondents on the topic.
At the end of the day’s submissions, the tribunal’s chairman, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, adjourned the case until August 18, 2023, for further hearing.