By Abdul Hassan
Witnesses from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, INEC and NECO have testified for Sen. Lawal Adamu-Usman at the Elections Petitions Court in Kaduna.
The witnesses told the court presided by Justice HH Kereng, that the academic credentials presented by the Senator representing Kaduna North were valid.
Also, an official of INEC who testified on Saturday in Kaduna, presented evidence that Adamu-Usman who contested on the platform of the PDP was validly nominated and the election was free and fair.
The court had subpoenaed the three institutions to appear before it in respect of the case filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) senatorial candidate, Mohammed Sani-Abdullahi.
Sani-Abdullahil lost to Adamu-Usman during the Feb. 25 National Assembly elections.
The petitioner wanted the election cancelled on the grounds that the respondent had submitted fake credentials to INEC, was not validly nominated, and that the election did not conform substantially with the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
However, in his testimony, Ishaq Abubakar, an Associate Professor of Law from ABU, told the court that the respondent, Adamu-Usman obtained Diploma and Bachelor Degree in Public Administration from the university.
He tendered necessary documents which were admitted as evidence by the court.
Also, the second witness, Esther Bala-Wuyaa, Director Special Duties, National Examination Council (NECO), confirmed that the respondent sat for and obtained the result of the examination conducted by NECO in 2011.
She tendered the respondent’s Senior Secondary Certificate Examination result before the court which was admitted in evidence.
Counsel to the senator, MA Mahmoud Sani SAN, however, asked the court to discountenance the testimony of the representative of Demonstration Primary School, Zaria as his client had never claimed to have attended the school.
He told the court that Adamu-Usman attended Diamond Academy, Zaria and Amir Abdulkarim Tahfizul Qur’an, also in Zaria.
The counsel added that his client subsequently obtained the Senior Arabic and Islamic Secondary School Certificate (SAISSC).
The certificate is issued by the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), adding that the result was gazetted in 2015.
Sani further told the court that the respondent was enrolled into the Demonstration Primary School, Gwagwalada, Abuja, in 1986, by the late Emir of Jere, bearing the name Lawal Abdullahi Jere.
He added that his client swore to an affidavit on Jan. 3, 2003, changing his name to Lawal Adamu-Usman, removing Jere, which is the name of his home town.
In her testimony, Fatima Umar-Jalingo of the Legal Department, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said that the only PDP candidate known to INEC is Adamu-Usman as adjudicated by the Supreme Court.
The witness tendered a copy of the Supreme Court judgment before the court and was accepted in evidence.
She went further to tender the results of the 3,356 polling units in the senatorial district, where she affirmed that there was no record of over voting as claimed by the petitioner.
After her testimony, Counsel to the petitioner, Johnson Usman SAN, said they have closed their case.
The three-man tribunal thereafter adjourned sitting until July 11, for the respondents to open their case.(NAN)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed