Presidential Tribunal: Buhari Kicks Against Admission of Bio-Data to INEC
President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday objected to the admission of his form CF001 which contained his personal data submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for February 23, presidential election.
Buhari’s objection against the said document was announced by his lead counsel, chief Wale Olanipekun, SAN, to the presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja.
Olanipekun while objecting to the admission of the form, however, said that his reason would be made public at the address stage.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar and the party had tendered Buhari’s form as part of efforts to establish their petition against Buhari on his qualification for the last presidential election.
Apart from the form, Atiku also tendered the final result of the election signed by professor Yakubu Mahmood which the tribunal admitted as exhibit.
Also tendered and admitted as exhibit are documents containing total number of voters in the INEC register and the number of collected permanent voters card for the elections.
Atiku’s lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu also tendered six Newspapers publications and 10 press statements issued by INEC in respect of the election.
At the time of filing this report, other documents numbering 6, 806 mainly election result sheets from Kano and Zamfara states were tendered and admitted by the tribunal.
Also, Atiku and the PDP kick-started calling of witnesses to testify for them in their allegations of election malpractices, corruption, irregularities and violence against the conduct of election that produced Buhari as President.
The first Witness, Buba Galadima who adopted his statement made on oath said under cross examination by Buhari’s counsel, Chief Wale Olanipekun that he supported Buhari in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections but parted ways with him due to Buhari’s alleged unfulfilled promises.
Galadima said that he supported Atiku in the 2019 election because he was a better candidate who is educated, God-fearing and capable of providing good governance in the country.
The Witness, however, denied parting ways with Buhari because he was denied privileges but insisted that Buhari failed to protect life and property of citizens and did not allow the rule of law to prevail.
Also under cross examination by the APC counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, Galadima further told the tribunal that he was not a member of the PDP and that his party – Reformed All Progressives Congress, RAPC, had a memorandum of understanding with Atiku and PDP on how to make life bearable for Nigerians, ensure security of life and property and allow the rule of law to prevail.
Second Petitioner’s Witness, Ijeoma Peter Obi who claimed as Information Communications and Technology, ICT, expert admitted transmitting results from polling units to the INEC server in his capacity as Registration Area Technician who was trained and shortlisted by INEC for the 2019 election.
Another witness, Adejuwitan Ebenezar Olalekan also admitted transmitting election results to INEC server.
Olalekan told the tribunal that INEC server was automatic and embedded in the smart card reader for the purposes of transmitting results.
He added that he personally transmitted results to INEC server through a code provided by the electoral umpire, saying that the server was connected to the smart card reader.
Under cross examination by Olanipekun, the Witness said that he did not know President Muhammadu Buhari as second respondent in Atiku’s petition.
Also under cross examination by Fagbemi, the witness admitted not serving as presiding officer for INEC but only was shortlisted by the electoral body.