Ganduje closes defence at Kano election tribunal

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, has closed presentation of defense witnesses before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Miller Road, Bompai Kano.

Mr Ganduje is the second respondent in the ongoing election dispute.

The governor, through his legal team had presented only four out of the 203 witnesses initially proposed to be tendered before the tribunal along with about one thousand documents.

The four witnesses were two party agents of the All Progressives Congress, APC, a voter from Gama Ward and the Director General of the governor’s campaign organization, Nasiru Aliko Koki, who served as a star witness.

The defense counsel, Offiong Offiong, led Mr Koki to speak to the documents submitted to the court on the 28 local government areas where INEC cancelled results of the March 9, 2019 as a result of violence and or over voting.

Other documents are incidence of violence report and a letter of complaint for pockets of violence in some polling units during the first election.

At the opening of cross examination, legal teams of the first and second respondents had unanimously opposed the intention of the petitioner’s counsel, Eyitayo Fatogun, to ask the star witness questions on the documents he discussed at the courtroom, but the chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki Muhammad, overruled the objection and subsequently allowed the petitioner’s counsel to cross examine Mr Koki on the said documents.

While answering questions, Mr Koki who introduced himself as an experienced politician with 41 years experience in coordinating campaigns and elections activities, asserted that he was not familiar with results of March 9 election from his hometown Dala Local Government, which has some polling units affected by the supplementary election.

He also confirmed that as the DG campaign for the governor that did not receive reports directly either from INEC or the agents of his party.

Mr Koki also agreed during the cross examination by the petitioner’s counsel that the controversial result of Gama Ward was collated at ward level, contrary to his deposition of oath.

According to Daily Nigerian, some of the documents he tendered were not signed by any signatory, while the aforementioned letter of complaint for violence during the first election was dated March 27, 2019, which is 18 days after the said election.

Recall that Mr Ganduje was given 10 days to defend his victory in the 2019 polls as challenged through a petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Kano State governorship candidate, Abba K. Yusuf, before the tribunal.

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