Court to rule on Saraki’s mandate Oct 16
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State has slated Friday, October 16 for judgment on the legal tussle surrounding the election of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The judgment, according to the Justice Josiah Majebi-Led three man panel would be communicated to the parties involved.
Daily Trust reliably gathered that the tribunal will give its judgment amidst tired security, even as efforts are being intensified to prevent supporters of the contending parties from overcrowding the venue.
“The lawyers involved in the case would be invited to the court for the judgment,” a source close to the tribunal said.
Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had dragged Saraki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the Tribunal.
He is challenging the declaration of Dr Saraki as the validly elected Senator for Kwara Central Senatorial, alleging that the election was massively flawed.
He hinged his petition on six grounds involving alleged widespread non-compliance with various provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), and INEC’s election regulations and procedures.
Abdulrazak said instead of Saraki, he should be declared winner because he scored majority of the lawful votes cast during the election.
Alhaji Abdulrazaq claimed that there were widespread abuses in relation to the electronic card reader for accreditation to the advantage of Dr Saraki, and that Saraki’s purported victory was the “product of deliberate wrong entries (of votes) made by” INEC’s election workers.
Dr Saraki, on his part, did not only described Alhaji Abdulrasaq’s various claims of election irregularities as unfounded, but also urged the Tribunal to strike out the Petition.
He said the petition lacks competence in its entirety, having allegedly being “filed in flagrant violation of the applicable provisions of the Federal High Court Rules and the mandatory provisions of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) ie, “Rules of Procedure for Election Petitions”, among other grounds.
It would be recalled that Counsel to Saraki, Yusuf Ali (SAN) had during the last sitting, while responding to the forensic report admitted in evidence against his client, in the petition which was dated March 28, 2014, a year before the contested poll was conducted noted that the date on the document shows that it was prepared in anticipation of the election.
Ali therefore prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petition.
The four volumes of forensic report analysis carried on electoral materials used in four local governments in Kwara Central had been marked as ‘Exhibits P4’ but A.O Oladoke, who spoke for the petitioner’s lead counsel; Francis Obumse attributed it to typographical error.
Counsels to Second and Third Respondent, Abdulwahab Bamidele and Alarape Salman SAN equally agreed with Ali’s submission, asking the court to dismiss the petition.
Part of the claims of the petitioner was that the testimony of Alhaji Hassan, the only witness called by the APC and the respondents’ side, had proved that the election was flawed.
The testimony, which is contained in two documents were reportedly admitted in evidence as “Exhibit D1” and “Exhibit D2”.
Senate President Bukola Saraki