- Witnesses insists Atiku is a bonafide Nigerian
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has continued to demystify President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the proceedings at eh Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja. The Waziri Adamawa at the daily proceedings of the Tribunal comes up with intimidating evidence to prove his case, while disproving the defendants’ counter-allegations.
National Dailygathered that at the resumed sitting of the Tribunal on Tuesday, one of the witnesses presented nu Atiku affirmed before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that Atiku is a bonafide Nigerian by birth and nationality.
Leading the team of the witnesses, a retired career diplomat, Ambassador Mabien Zamaki, had told the Presidential Election Tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba that Atiku is a bonafide Nigerian by birth and nationality and was, therefore, legally qualified to contest the presidential poll.
The ambassador in his evidence said that he was aware by detailed record that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946, at Jada in the northern part of Nigeria.
National Dailygathered that led in evidence by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche SAN, Ambassador Zamaki acquainted the tribunal that Atiku’s record in his former secondary School is not confidential and can be accessed by anyone doubting the his Nigerian nationality and citizenship.
The witness, acknowledging that he retired from active service in 2006, admitted that he saw the record from the custodian of the record in their secondary school and that the record is still there for anybody to cross check.
Zamaki further acknowledged before the tribunal his fair knowledge of history of Nigeria on the territorial status of Jada in Adamawa. He stated that in 1946 when Atiku was born, Jada was part and parcel of Northern Nigeria and not part of Cameroon as claimed by counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The retired diplomat was said to have refuted that any part of Northern Nigeria, including Jada, was ever ceded to Cameroon.
National Dailyalso gathered that under cross examination by INEC lawyer, Zamaki admitted that that he was not at the point where Atiku was born; he was said to have, however, acknowledged that Major General Muhammadu Buhari was Head of State between 1983 and 1985.
Another witness, Mohammed Kabir Hayatu, a retired Customs Officer, was said to have also corroborated the Nigerian nationality of Atiku.
National Daily learned that Hayatu told the tribunal that he came in contact with Atiku’s record in the Nigerian Customs Service where Atiku retired as a senior Customs Officer.
Under cross examination, Hayatu said that Adamawa was part of Northern Nigeria and that Jada fell on the part of Nigeria and not Northern Cameroon.
Another witness for the petitioners, Peter Alli, in his evidence, alleged that an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Abubakar Kaura was found with the sum of $10,000 dollars on the day of election.
Ali, who said he was the ward collation officer, also alleged that the $10,000 dollars was a bribe for the INEC officer to manipulate the outcome of the election results in the area of Nasarawa State.
Under cross examination by INEC counsel, Yunus Usman, SAN, Ali admitted he reported the matter to the police but was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Bureau for further investigation.
When asked if he knew whether anyone was charged for the said allegation, he affirmed he did not know and, even added that he doesn’t have any report concerning the outcome of the investigation.
Further, Ali said the allegation he declared before the tribunal was not hearsay evidence but claimed he was tipped off and personally witnessed the alleged $10,000 dollars found in the custody of the INEC officer.
The witness also asserted that out of the 24 units in the ward, he was only able to receive results of 23 units excluding the unit where the allegation was allegedly perpetrated.
In mitigating the Atiku fireworks, President Buhari’s legal team was said to have earlier presented a video at the tribunal showing the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, on February 6 in an interview on Channels Television talking about the challenges likely to be faced ahead of the election in the area of communication and transmission of election results.
The video clip was, thereafter, admitted in evidence with objection to be raised later by the petitioners at the address stage.
Atiku had at the proceedings on Monday presented 48 video clips in evidence all of which were admitted by the tribunal. The 48 video contents were said to be causing panic in the Presidency and APC over the tendency of the facts of elections being exposed by Atiku and the PDP.
National Dailylearned that before the tribunal proceeded on break, five witnesses had so far testified for the petitioners. They included Mabien Zamaki, Mohammed Hayatu, Likita Alli, Temago Sunday Anyamaga and Abubakar Sadiq Abdullahi from Adamawa and Nasarawa states.