Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, the second respondent at the ongoing election dispute, on Friday closed presentation of defense with four witnesses before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Governor Ganduje through his legal team had presented only four out of the 203 witnesses initially proposed to be tendered at the Election Tribunal along with about one thousand documents.
The four witnesses were two-party agents of the All Progressive Congress, a voter from Gama ward and Alhaji Nasiru Aliko Koki, the Director-General of the second respondent’s campaign organization who served as a star witness.
The defense Counsel Barr. Ofiong Ofiong led Nasiru Koki to speak to the documents submitted to the court on the 28 local government areas where INEC cancelled results of the 9th March 2019 election as a result of violence and or over voting.
Other documents are the incidence of violence report and a letter of complaint for pockets of violence in some polling units during the first election.
At the opening of cross-examination, legal teams of the first and second respondents had unanimously opposed the intention of the petitioner’s counsel Barr. Eyitayo Fatogun to ask the star witness questions on the documents he discussed at the courtroom, but the chairman of the Tribunal Justice Halima Shamaki Muhammad overruled the objection and subsequently allowed the petitioner’s counsel to cross-examine Nasiru Aliko Koki on the said documents.
While answering questions, Nasir Koki who introduced himself as an experienced politician with 41 years’ experience in coordinating campaigns and elections activities, asserted that he is not familiar with results of 9th March election from Dala local government, his hometown which has some polling units affected by the supplementary election.
He also confirmed that as the DG campaign for the second respondent he did not receive reports directly either from INEC or the agents of his party.
Nasiru Aliko Koki also agreed during the cross-examination by the petitioner’s counsel that the controversial result of Gama ward was collated at ward level, contrary to his deposition of oath. Meanwhile, some of the documents he tendered were not signed by any signatory, while the aforementioned letter of complaint for violence during the first election was dated 27th of March, 2019, which is 18 days after the said election.
Solacebase recalled that Governor Ganduje was given ten days to defend his victory in the 2019 polls as challenged through a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Kano State governorship candidate Engr. Abba K. Yusuf before the Tribunal.