The Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja was on Tuesday told that Governor Yahaya Bello’s voter card actually carried an Abuja address.
Onoja Edward, a witness in the Kogi State governorship election dispute, told the Justice Halima Muhammad-led tribunal that Bello had applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the transfer of the card back to Lokoja.
The witness, who is the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Director of Strategies for Bello’s Campaign, gave the testimony while being cross-examined by the Counsel to the petitioner, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
According to the witness: “I detest impunity.
“I also detest fraud.
“I will not encourage impunity or fraud in governance.
“The voter card of the 2nd respondent, Bello, carries the address of Abuja, but we have applied for transfer and we are yet to get the approval.
“Although, the names on INEC nomination form is bearing Abubakar Audu and James Faleke upon the request by the 2nd respondent party, that is the All Progressives Congress after the death of Audu, the 2nd respondent submitted his nomination form to INEC.
“Also, Exhibit R6 is a document which pronounces the election to run from November 2015 to December 2015.”
The witness also told the tribunal that Faleke was a running mate throughout the election period and that he had never been an independent candidate in the Kogi State election.
Edward said 28 candidates contested for the Kogi State primary election of the All Progressives Congress and the petitioner was not part of the candidates that contested.
“The total of 6,885 votes was secured by APC in the December 5 supplementary election and there was no cancellation of votes in the 91 polling units across the state,” the witness added.
Edward also told the tribunal when he was being cross-examined by the INEC counsel, Alex Izinyon, (SAN), that Bello obtained the second best result in the primary election and that was why he was considered to represent the party after Audu’s death.
“Seven hundred and three is the scores Bello had during the primary and 1,109 was Audu’s scores and there was never a time the petitioner was an independent candidate.
“The petitioner had never been sent as an independent candidate all through the electioneering process.
“He had been a running mate all through the election.”
Izinyon had earlier told the tribunal that he had no witness to call but documents to tender in relation to the election.
Some of the documents used for the election were tendered by the INEC Counsel and they were all admitted and marked as exhibits.
While being led in evidence-in-chief by Counsel to Bello, Joseph Daudu, the witness adopted all his statements on oath.
The tribunal, however, adjourned further hearing until April 6 in Faleke’s petition.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the tribunal also adjourned till March 22 for the adoption of written address in the petition filed by the retired Captain Idris Wada, the former governor of the state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the election.
Counsels in Wada’s petition had earlier informed the tribunal that they had filed all necessary documents before the tribunal.