By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer for Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State during the state governorship election, Dr Ahmad Kainuwa, has claimed that the officials the commission instructed him not present the result sheets he collated from the ward collation officers but from the server of the electoral body which they said is authentic.
According to him, there was tension during the collation exercise at Maradun, adding that the Divisional Police Officer mandated him to hasten the process as bandits were in transit to the area.
Kainuwa made this disclosure on Friday, 14 July, 2023 during the resume hearing of the case involving the past Governor of the state, Bello Mohammed Matawalle and the incumbent Governor, Dauda Lawal-Dare before the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Kainuwa, who is among 19 witnesses Matawalle presented to prove his petition against Lawal-Dare, identified the result sheet he collated from the ward collation officers he supervised which was part of the exhibits in evidence.
During cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Chief Solomon Akuma SAN, Mr. O.M. Atoyemi SAN, and Mr. Wilson Tinger, the witness testified that different figures were generated and identified the ones he produced.
The Tribunal Chairperson, Justice Cordelia Ogadi, adjourned to July 19 for Lawal and PDP to open defense.
Recall that Matawalle, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had approached the tribunal challenging the election of Lawal – Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Petitioner said the March 18, 2023 election was flawed with irregularities and sought the tribunal to declare him the winner of the said election having scored the majority of lawful votes.
He also prayed the tribunal to mandate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a new certificate of return.