By Balkis Tijani.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rowland Otaru (SAN), has rubbished reports being peddled in different quarters that the commission was authorized by the state election tribunal to tender the WAEC certificate of Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Governor-elect of Kwara State.
Addressing reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Otaru emphasized that the incoming governor’s certificate was already public record bereft of any falsification.
“The tribunal did not at anytime 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
The legal team of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its gubernatorial candidate Abdulrazak Atunwa are challenging the legitimacy of Abdulrahman’s WAEC at the tribunal.
PDP’s counsel, Kingsley Odey announced to the court his intention to call up maximum of five witnesses, explaining that one will be a document expert while the other will be subpoenaed from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)
Counsel to AbdulrRazaq, H.O Afolabi, opted to call seven witnesses, but also reminded the tribunal of it’s powers to streamline the number of witnesses to call.
Afolabi appealed to the tribunal to ensure compliance with the allocated timeframe, saying it was the best approach through which he could “ventilate the defence” of his clients.
Rowland Otaru, the INEC counsel agreed with him, saying: “This is the best way to manage and save time. I promise to cross-examine all the PDP witnesses in one day.”
Counsel to APC, Yomi Aliyu disclosed his intention to call two witnesses during real trial.
Pre-hearing conference is scheduled to continue on Thursday for the streamlining of trial timetable.