The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed reports that the Kwara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal ordered it to produce the WAEC certificate of the governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
The counsel to INEC, Rowland Otaru (SAN), on Wednesday told newsmen in Ilorin that at no time did the tribunal order the commission to produce a document that is clearly a public record.
“The tribunal did not at any time order INEC to produce the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
“The governor-elect has pleaded his certificate which is very genuine.
“There is nothing like falsification of result or whatever. They are there. They are public records.
“It is not something to be hidden. The documents the governor-elect tendered met the requirements of the law,” Otaru said.
At the tribunal’s pre-hearing session, the commission tendered two documents (Forms ECAD and ECAE), which contained the results of the elections across the 16 local government areas and declaration of results for the office of the governor of the state.
INEC stated that the documents affirmed that Abdulrazaq won the election.
Otaru told the tribunal that “those are the documents we have now at this pre-hearing session.
” Every other document will come in during the real trial.”
The News Agency of Nigeriareports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Abdulrazak Atunwa, are challenging the genuineness or otherwise of the WAEC certificate of Abdulrazaq at the tribunal.
Kingsley Odey, counsel to PDP and its governorship candidate, did not object to the tendering of the documents.
Odey told the court that he would call five witnesses, adding that one would be a document expert while the other will be subpoenaed from WAEC office.
H.O Afolabi, counsel to Abdulrrazaq, said that seven witnesses would be called by him, adding that the tribunal has the powers to streamline and limit the number of witnesses to be called.
He urged the tribunal to be kind enough to work within the time frame allocated, saying; “that is my supplication.”
“This is the best approach through which I can ventilate the defence of my clients,” Afolabi added.
The INEC counsel agreed with Abdulrazaq’s counsel, saying it was the best way to manage and save time.
He promised to cross-examine all the PDP witnesses in one day.
Counsel to APC, Chief Yomi Aliyu, said he intends to call two witnesses during hearing.
The pre-hearing conference continues on Thursday for the streamlining of trial timetable.