Kaduna: Governorship tribunal fixes July 18 for INEC to call witnesses

A gavel and sound block used by judges
A gavel and sound block used by judges in court

The Kaduna State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday, adjourned sitting to Thursday, July 18 for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to present its witnesses.

The Justice Ibrahim Bako-led Tribunal had adjourned to Monday, July 15 for INEC to open its defence, but had to adjourn again till Thursday in favour of the application by counsel to INEC, Mr. Aliyu Umar, SAN.

INEC is one of the three respondents to the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the outcome of the March 9 governorship election in the state.

The PDP and its Candidate, Alhaji Isah Ashiru are contesting INEC’s return of Gov Nasiru El-Rufai, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as duly elected.

The petitioners had, at the close of their case, presented 135 witnesses to prove the alleged mass rigging, ballot stuffing and violence recorded during the poll.

INEC had said it would present 10 witnesses in its defence with nine being the commission staff.

However, at resumed hearing on Monday, counsel to the commission, Aliyu Umar informed the tribunal that they could not open their defence as most of their witnesses were attending 2019 election review conference in Abuja.

The counsel said INEC would present 10 witnesses to defend its declaration of Gov El-Rufai as winner of the March 9 governorship elections, asking that the commission be given up to Thursday, July 18 to open its defence.

Bako accepted the request and fixed hearing to July 18 for INEC to call witnesses and close by Friday,  July 19. (NAN)

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