The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its Candidate in the February 23, 2019 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, presented their first set of 6 witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, in their bid to prove their petition challenging the outcome of the polls.
They are by their petition filed before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Tribunal of 5 Justices, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the poll.
The Petitioners presented their witnesses, just as there are indications that they will challenge the results of the Presidential election in 11 States where Buhari got millions of votes. The States include Kano, Kebbi, and 9 others.
Monday was the third of the 10 days the Petitioners were allotted to present their case.
A former Ally of Buhari, Buba Galadima, was the first witness presented by the Petitioners, at the Monday proceedings, contending that Buhari was not academically qualified to contest the Presidential election.
Others included 3 Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ad hoc workers, serving in different capacities during the election, who testified that they transmitted the results of the election electronically, as INEC trained them to do.
Others were PDP Agents, who alleged harassment and intimidation of voters at their Polling Units.
The witnesses, in turn, were led by the Lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, to adopt as their Evidence-in-Chief, their witness statements on oath, which they had earlier deposed to.
They were subsequently cross-examined by the Respondents’ Lawyers.
Under cross-examination by Buhari’s Lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Galadmia denied the claim that he fell out with Buhari, after the President refused to appoint him as a Minister, in 2015.
He said that his quarrel with Buhari arose from the alleged injustice in the President’s administration, lack of inclusiveness, and failure of the administration to secure Nigeria.
“You fell out with the 2nd Respondent (Buhari), because he did not make you a Minister in 2015”, Olanipekun asked.
Responding, Galadima said: “No. You should know that I fought all the previous governments since 1999, because of injustice.
“We made good promises to Nigerians, including justice, and to secure the country, which he has failed to do.
“It has always been part of my characteristics to fight injustice.”
Reminded that his daughter, Zainab Buba-Galadima, remained a Technical Assistant to Buhari, Galadima denied, saying that he is only aware that she was appointed a member of “Films Board in Jos”.
He noted that with 2 first degrees and 2 Masters degrees, his daughter is qualified to be appointed by the government.
“She is a qualified Nigerian. She is a mature Nigerian, and who by her right having worked for the President, deserves to be appointed.
“She is a member of Film Corporation Board, and there are many of those who have not worked for the President, that got bigger positions like Minister.”
He confirmed that he had supported Buhari in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections, until the 2019 election; yet he insisted that Buhari is not qualified to run for the Presidency.
Asked by Olanipekun if he was aware that Buhari addressed the nation in English language while being the Head of State between 1983 and 1985, Galadima said: “As Military Head of State, he addressed the country in the languages he understood, which might include English.”
While being cross-examined by the APC Lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the witness said that he was not in the country when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, displayed the list of Presidential Candidates for the last election, and so he could not have contested the President’s Candidacy.
He also stated that he was aware that there was no registered party called the Reformed APC, but maintained that he is still the Chairman of the group.
He however, revealed that he remains a member of the APC, since he had “not been sacked” from the party.
Galadima, a Spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, said: “I am still a member of the APC. I have not been sacked. We are in court. I do not want to be subjudice.
“I am not a member of the PDP, but we have a memorandum of understanding with the PDP, to produce a God-fearing, good, and educated Leader.”