Politics

PDP, Ashiru seek re-count of Kaduna gubernatorial ballot

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State and its gubernatorial candidate in the last general election, Isah Ashiru, yesterday filed an application seeking a re-count of the votes cast on March 9.

Ashiru’s counsel, Elisha Kurah (SAN), submitted the application to the Justice Ibrahim Bako-led tribunal that commenced pre-hearing session in Kaduna.

Justice Bako, however, adjourned the session till May 25 to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the two other respondents in the petition respond to PDP’s application on votes re-count.

Kurah, who spoke to journalists shortly after adjournment of the session, urged the tribunal to order the re-count of the ballot by INEC.

“We filed an application requesting re-count of the votes cast during the election.

“It is very crucial, as we are alleging, which is supported by the evidence we have, that most of the results declared were phantom votes.

“We are expecting that the results would show that the PDP actually won the election. Votes were just inflicted randomly just to make the All Progressives Congress (APC) have the semblance of winning,” Kurah said.

Counsel to PDP, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), told newsmen that he also filed application seeking that certain paragraphs of the respondents’ responses to their application be struck out for lack of merit.

Meanwhile, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, counsel to Governor Nasir el-Rufai, told newsmen that “the petitions of the PDP and its candidate, Isa Ashiru, have four highly contentious applications.

“And we intend to oppose the applications on their merit. The tribunal has given us a new date to come and argue the applications. So, the matter is adjourned for hearing of all the pending applications.

“We have a preliminary objection that the petition is not competent. They (PDP and Ashiru) have an application that they want the tribunal to direct that the ballots be counted one after another in open court, and we intend to oppose those applications.”

According to him, the Electoral Act is in APC’s favour.

“The Kaduna people have spoken; they picked el-Rufai and nothing is going to change that.

“We are here to defend the mandate the people have given to the governor. We intend to convince the tribunal that the petition lacks merit and should be dismissed,” Mustapha said.

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