Atiku’s video evidence empty says INEC

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INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu
INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu

By Martins Odeh

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday described the 48 Compact Discs evidence tendered by the People Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atitku Abubakar as lacking in probative value.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four of the video clips played at the Presidential Election Tribunal court hall includes “Count down of Osun Decides’’, a production of Channels Television with Seun Akinboloye as host.

In the above production dated Feb.8, Mr Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom had talked about the readiness of the electoral body to transmit the Feb.23 general election electronically.

The second video was a clip of the postponement of the general election by INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmud.

NAN further reports that the third video was a clip of AFEX Nigeria training of INEC Ad-hoc staff on electronic result transmission.

Similarly, the briefing by the Nigerian Army authority on the status of President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged certificate saga completed the four materials shown in court.

Chief Chris Uche, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners had led Mr Segun Showunmi, Spokesman for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation to tender the materials before the five-man panel of justices.

During his cross-examination by Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, Counsel for INEC, Showunmi agreed that the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom was not a spokesman for the commission.

Usman also made the witness to confirm that the chairman of the electoral body only expressed the hope of the commission to transmit results of the general election electronically, but that it was actually done.

Usman was of the view that the video clips front-loaded by the witness had nothing to do with the Feb.23 general election.

Showunmi, attested to Usman’s question by saying that the four clips were events that preceded the election.

The other clip was on the president’s certificate controversy as the army confirmed that the Buhari had West African Examination Certificate with credits in English Language, History, Geography and a pass in English Literature.

Meanwhile, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, Counsel for Buhari had tendered a video clip dated Feb.6 where chairman of the commission hinged the possible transmission of the election electronically to the signing of a new Electoral Act.

NAN reports that drama however ensued as the petitioners’ legal team refused to allow their system to be used to play the CD.

In the circumstance, Izinyon filed an oral application for adjournment to allow his team bring their system and screen to continue with the cross examination of the witness.

Justice Mohammed Garba, went ahead to adjourn the proceedings until July 16 for continuation.

Earlier, the petitioners presented three of their witnesses, totaling about 40 of them out of the 400 that were listed to testify so far.

On their parts, Babagana Kukawa, Hon.Abana Pogu, Suleman Mohammed, Local Government Area Collation Agents for PDP had alleged over voting, vote buying, and violence disruption of the election in their various states.

When they were crossed examined, the witnesses were unable to back up their allegations with documentary evidence.

The counsel to INEC had reminded them that their signature on Forms EC8C (Results transmitted to the local government areas) were approval of the exeercise at polling units and wards level across their states. (NAN)


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