By Dauda I Omaku
As hearing at the governorship election petition Tribunal continued in Lafia Wednesday, agents of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Action Alliance party (AA) alleged that the governorship election results were manipulated.
Testifying during the continuation of hearing in a petition filed by the candidate of PDP, David Emmanuel Ombugadu and the People’s Democratic party PDP in Lafia, Collation Agent of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) for the 2023 Nasarawa State Governorship alleged in his evidence by a Subpoena issued by the Tribunal that the election was manipulated.
The witness was designated as PW12, and his subpoena presented his agent Tag, Party Membership Card, and voters card, which were all admitted in evidence and marked accordingly as exhibits.
The PRP Agent while presenting his evidence told the Tribunal that as Gayam Ward Agent of the PRP for the 2023 Governorship/State House of Assembly elections, he signed the form EC8B (Ward Collation Summary) for Gayam Ward for the House of Assembly but did not sign that of the Governorship because the figures in the said Gayam Ward Collation Summary for Governorship were entirely different from the actual summation of votes.
He told the Tribunal also that the figures gotten from the real computation from the respective Polling Units in the Ward did not represent the election result.
The PRP party agent further identified the polling units result of the 58 polling units of Gayam Ward earlier admitted in evidence which summation clearly shows that the summary of votes transferred into the Gayam Ward Collation Summary Sheet for the Nasarawa Governorship election were incorrect and not a true reflection of the actual votes gotten by the candidates at the Polling Unit level.
Also, the Action Alliance agent for Chiroma Ward summoned by the tribunal,
upon the application of the Petitioners to give evidence with respect to collation of results of Polling Units of the Chiroma Ward into the Ward Collation Summary sheet (Form EC8B) for Chiroma Ward of Lafia LGA told the tribunal that the eventual summary of the results of the Polling Units in Chiroma Ward into the form EC8B was not a correct reflection of the computation of the votes from the respective Polling Units in the Chiroma Ward.
The party agent designated as PW13
who also testified in support of the Petitioners’ case as PW14 and PW15 respectively insisted that governorship election in Chiroma ward was not the true reflection of the election conducted in the Chiroma ward
Earlier, during their cross examinations, counsel for the Governor, Wole Olanipekun; counsel for the APC, Matthew Burkaa, and counsel for INEC, Ishaku Dikko, questioned the legality of the witnesses as party agents.
In their submissions separately, the counels argued against an agent accredited, stating that the political party ought to he written a letter to INEC 14 days before the election with two passport photographs of the agent, and urged the tribunal to disregard their claims.
Testimonies were also received from the PDP agents in the Gadabuke polling unit of Toto LGA and Boher polling unit of Akwanga LGA, who both alleged irregularities during the March 18 governorship election.
Chairman of the three man panel of justices, Justice Ezikiel Ajayi, after listening to the Petitioners’ witnesses, adjourned the matter to Thursday, 27th July, 2023 for continuation of hearing.