From Esther Akaa, Lafia
The Peoples Democratic Party’s star witness, Baba Ayiwulu on Thursday appeared before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Nasarawa State and testified about some irregularities that occurred during the state’s 2023 governorship election.
The PDP in the state had on Wednesday informed the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal of its intention to present a star witness who would testify about some irregularities that occured during the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The party’s lead attorney, Samuel Okutepa (SAN), called the ICT Director for the state’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the first witness at the resumed hearing of the tribunal on Thursday in Lafia.
The witness presented copies of BVAS screenshots from the impacted polling places from the election. He was only able to produce two copies as opposed to the five that were anticipated, and he said that the other three copies were nowhere to be found.
On his part, the second witness, also known as the star witness, Baba Ayiwulu, who served as the PDP State Collation Agent during the governorship election, pointed out documents that were directly generated from the INEC BVAS IREV portal and that were not collated in accordance with the INEC guidelines for the general elections of 2023.
The documents include Form EC8As, EC8Bs, and other related documents for both the Governorship and State House of Assembly results of the following Places; Azara Electoral wards of Awe LGA; Kanje/Aburi Electoral ward of Awe LGA; Gaiyam Electoral ward of Lafia LGA; Ciroma Electoral ward of Lafia LGA; Ashige Electoral ward of Lafia LGA; Aliwaza mada of Doma LGA; Ningo/Boha Electoral ward of Akwanga LGA; Shege and Gadabuke ward of Toto LGA and Lafia North state Assembly constituency results.
Others identified were Lafia Central State Assembly Constituency Results; Screenshots printout of BVAS results of the Nasarawa State governorship elections; Total number of Registered voters in Nasarawa State and the affected areas in question; BVAS printed form EC8As and the manual results of all the polling units in Nasarawa State.
Ayiwulu testified before the tribunal that the results of form EC8A in Ashige ward were wrongfully canceled and that the total score in form EC8As was improperly combined in form EC8Bs in Ciroma, Gayam, Azara, and Kanje/Abuni ward.
During his cross examination by both the first, second and third Respondents; Counsels for INEC, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Abdullahi Sule respectively, he told the tribunal that the last governorship election in the state was characterised by so many irregularities.
The witness appealed to the tribunal to combine the original and certified copies with the forms EC8AS, which are the original pyramids of every election’s results, to correctly compile all of the results.
He urged the tribunal to combine the original and certified copies with the forms EC8AS, which are the original pyramids of every election’s results, to correctly compile all of the results.
Okutepa (SAN) therefore announced that with the presentation of the last witness, the petitioner has closed his case and was ready to hear the defence of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents on the matter.
Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, the chairman of the tribunal, adjourned the case until August 18, 2023, to allow for the continuation of the hearing.
It would be recalled that the governorship candidate of the PDP, Dr David Ombugadu had approached the Tribunal, challenging the election victory of Governor Abdullahi Sule of the APC.