March 28 NASS election: Former Yobe lawmaker alleges massive rigging
The allegation is contained in a petition Yakubu filed before the Yobe Legislative Houses Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja, seeking cancellation of the elections.
In a copy of the petition obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, the petitioner asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Sabo Garba of PDP who was declared winner.
Yakubu alleged:“Election was held in only five polling units out of 25 in Bare-Bari/Bauya Registration Area on March 28.
“The reason why election did not hold in the 20 polling units was because, by the time the ballot papers were handed over to the Presiding Officers, it was already dark and most people had gone back to their homes.
“The ballot papers and other sensitive materials were kept in custody of the Presiding Officers of the twenty polling units until the following day which was March 29.
“On March 29, voting was further delayed until afternoon in the 20 polling units and it was characterised by all sort of irregularities, malpractices, corrupt practices, massive rigging.
“There was also inducement and intimidation of voters by the agents of first respondent (Garba) with the connivance of the ad hoc staff employed by INEC’’.
The petitioners further alleged that there were several inconsistencies in the entering of the results on Form EC8A (2) at the polling units and collation centres.
“The irregularities in respect of Bare-Bari/Bauya Registration Area continued at the Potiskum Local Government collation centre because the petitioner was said to be leading in Nengere.
“In a desperate bid to cancel the lead of the petitioner, the Potiskum Local Government Area Collation Summary of Results Form EC8C (2) were doctored and filed to achieve the desired results,’’ the petition stated.
He contended that Garba did not have majority of lawful votes cast in the election and therefore asked the tribunal to declare his (Garba) return invalid.
Meanwhile, Garba in a counter-motion also filed before the tribunal, denied the allegations of election malpractice and irregularities.
In his response to paragraphs 20 to 30 of the petition, he contended that he was qualified to contest the election and that he scored majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
The lawmaker stressed that his declaration as winner of the election was in accordance with the law.
Garba urged the tribunal to refuse all the reliefs sought by the petitioners and affirm his declaration as the winner of the election.
NAN reports that the tribunal has subpoenaed six witnesses to give testimonies on the allegations of the petitioner and the response by the defendant.
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