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ZAMFARA: Matawalle presents 19 witnesses against Gov Lawal-Dare at tribunal

THE Zamfara Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has adjourned sitting to July 19 after the former governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, brought 19 witnesses to prove his petition against Governor Dauda Lawal-Dare.

Matawalle, candidate of the All Progressives Congress had approached the tribunal challenging the election of Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party.

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 ensure the Independent National Electotral Commission to issue him a new certificate of return.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, the petitioner’s lead counsel, Usman Sule SAN, led the 19th witness, Dr Ahmad Kainuwa, who is the Returning Officer of Maradun Local Government Area during the governorship election.

Kainuwa identified the result sheet he collated from the ward collation officers he supervised which was part of the exhibits in evidence and told the tribunal that INEC asked him not to present it but rather announce the result generated from the INEC server.

The witness said the result sheet he presented to INEC was different from that on the server.

He, however, said that INEC officials instructed him to present the one from the INEC server which they said is authentic.

He said 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.

During cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Chief Solomon Akuma SAN, O.M. Atoyemi SAN, and M 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.

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