Former Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle has led the 19th witness to prove his petition against Governor Dauda Lawal-Dare in the state governorship election petition Tribunal.
The case, however, has been adjourned to 19th July 2023.
Matawalle, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the governorship election had approached the tribunal challenging the election of Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner in the election.
The former governor alleged that the March 18, 2023 election was marred by irregularities and sought the tribunal to declare him the winner, claiming he scored the majority of lawful votes cast.
He also prayed the tribunal to order the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him a new certificate of return.
On Friday at the resumed hearing of the case, the petitioner’s lead counsel, Mr Usman Sule SAN, led the 19th witness, Dr Ahmad Kainuwa, Returning Officer of Maradun Local Government Area during the governorship election.
The Returning Officer identified the result sheet he collated from the ward collation officers he supervised as being part of the exhibits in evidence, telling the tribunal that INEC asked him not to present it but rather announce the result generated from the INEC server as the result sheet he presented to INEC was different from that on the server.
He explained that he was instructed by INEC officials to present the one from the INEC server which they said is authentic.
He said there was tension during the collation exercise at Maradun and the Divisional Police Officer ordered him to ensure a quick process of the election as bandits were in transit to the area.
While on cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Chief Solomon Akuma SAN, O.M. Atoyemi SAN, and Wilson Tinger, the witness testified that different figures were generated and identified the ones he produced.
The Tribunal Chairperson, Justice Cordelia Ogadi, adjourned the sitting to July 19 for Lawal and PDP to open his defence.