Kaduna: PDP to seek cancellation of 515, 951 votes

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Governorship candidate, Isah Ashru, will today ask the Kaduna state Elections Petition Tribunal to cancel a total of 515, 951 votes, which it contended were unlawfully added to the total votes cast during the March 9 poll.

The tribunal has fixed August 19 for adoption of final written addresses by counsel in the case. This was contained in a certified copy of the document to be adopted by the PDP

In the document, the PDP is asking the Tribunal to declare Ashiru as the validly elected governor of the state by majority of lawful votes.

The petitioners had called 135 witnesses out of the 685 they assembled to prove massive rigging, ballot stuffing and other irregularities during the poll as contained in their petition.

In their final written addresses, the petitioners alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had added 391,741 votes to Nasiru El-Rufai of APC and a total of 124, 210 unlawful votes to the PDP through wrong or double entry on the result sheets.

The PDP and its candidate contended that declaring El-Rufai winner by INEC was illegal as he did not score majority of lawful votes. The PDP, through its legal team of Emmanuel C. Ukala, Donald Denwigwe, Chief Ferdinand O. Orbih, Elisha Y. Kurah and 14 other counsel, said a deduction of 391,741 votes from 1,045,427 scored by El-Rufai and 124,210 from Ashiru’s 814, 168 votes will give victory to their candidate.

The counsel further argued that after the deduction of the alleged unlawful votes, Ashiru will be left with 689,958 lawful votes, while El-Rufai will have 653,686 votes.

The petitioners averred that evidence of their witnesses has demonstrated that there were “improper entries in the polling units results, wrongful collation of entries in the ward collation results, including unstamped and un-authenticated votes and void or invalid votes were credited to the parties”.

The PDP cited several authorities in the written address, alleging that INEC, El-Rufai and the APC did not demonstrate the required evidence to counter the relevant materials as well as oral and documentary evidence by their witnesses.

INEC had declared El-Rufai winner of the election with 1,045,427 votes while Ashiru of PDP was second with 814,168 votes.

The Tribunal, chaired by Justice Ibrahim Bako, is expected to receive the final written addresses of the parties in the petition beginning from Monday. (NAN)

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