Wednesday 1 July 2015

Tribunal adjourns case challenging Bukola Saraki's victory

The case challenging the election of Senator Bukola Saraki as senator representing Kwara Central senatorial district, which was instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, at the Election Petition Tribunal in Ilorin has been adjourned till July 22, 2015.

The PDP senatorial candidate is challenging the victory of Senator Saraki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 28 National Assembly election.

Hearing in the case was scheduled to commence on Wednesday but the counsel to the petitioner, Professor Rasheed Ijaodola, requested for adjournment to enable his team complete inspection of electoral materials.

It would be recalled that the three-man panel, led by Justice Josiah Mejabi, had given the petitioners leave to inspect the materials while hearing in the case was slated for yesterday.

However, the petitioner’s counsel told the tribunal that the hearing could not commence because they are yet to complete the inspections of the materials.

Ijaodola argued that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not give them access to the information contained in the card reader, saying that until they had access to the data, the hearing could not continue.

“If we don’t know the fact on the computer, our petition cannot be properly established. We need to compare the figure from the card reader with the certified true copy of result given to us. The two have to be compared', he said.
As petitioner’s counsel continued with his argument, a letter was presented to the tribunal by INEC, saying that the commission had given the petitioners necessary cooperation in the inspection of the materials.

According to the letter directed to the tribunal, INEC was said to have told the petitioner that the information contained in the card reader had been transferred to the central server in Abuja, implying that the petitioner had to go to the INEC headquarters to get the data.

However, counsels to the respondents including Yusuf Ali, SAN (representing Senator Saraki), Alarape Salman, SAN (INEC) and that of the APC, Abdulwahab Bamidele, opposed the application for adjournment, insisting that the petitioner was given necessary access to the materials.

In his ruling, Justice Majebi granted the request for adjournment with a condition that the petitioners would lose one day from the six days given to them to open their case. He then adjourned the case to July 22, 2015 for hearing.

Credit: Nigerian Tribune 

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