Election tribunal: School principal presents 15 documents against Kebbi Deputy Governor

Election tribunal: School principal presents 15 documents against Kebbi Deputy Governor

The Principal of Sultan Abubakar College Sokoto, the alleged secondary school from which Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Senator Umar Abubakar, said to have graduated in 1979, has presented 15 documents to the governorship election tribunal sitting in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, to refute the claim.

While being cross-examined by counsel to the Governor and Deputy Governor, the school Principal, Muhammed Zayyanu Umar, maintained that there were no records in the school to support the testimonial allegedly given to Umar Abubakar from the college in 1979 because his name was not on the list of the school’s graduands.

General Aminu Bande (rtd), the peoples Democratic party governorship candidate, is challenging the victory of the candidates of the All Progressives Congress APC, Governor Nasiru Idris and his Deputy Umar Abubakar in the last general elections in Kebbi State at the tribunal sitting in Birnin Kebbi.

While presenting his testimony and responses to questions from the respondent counsels, Barrister Wale Agunbiade SAN, Yakubu Maikyau SAN, and others, the principal insisted that, based on the documents he submitted to the tribunal, the results of 1979,1980,1981, and 1982 did not bear the name Umar Abubakar, who claimed to be a graduand of the college during the said period, particularly in 1979.

The Principal affirmed that the deputy governor did not graduate from the school in 1979 based on the available records in his office as principal of Sultan Abubakar College Sokoto.

Also testifying before the tribunal was Abdulsamad Hamzat Yisa, a Director in the Sokoto State Ministry of Education, who stated that the ministry formed a committee to investigate the principal but discovered that the correspondents between the principal’s office and the office of Nura Bello and Co chambers were in order.

Earlier, the respondent’s counsel objected to the hearing being continued on the grounds that the list of witnesses was placed on them at 8 p.m. the day before, and that the pre-trial report said that parties should be served with the list of witnesses within 24 hours.

However, the petitioners’ counsels informed the tribunal that, in addition to the 15 scheduled witnesses, there are other subpoenaed witnesses who are court witnesses, not petitioners’ witnesses.

On that ground the tribunal chairman, Justice Ofem I. Ofem ruled that, on one part, agreed with the respondent counsels that since the notice served them was not within 24 hours, the tribunal will not proceed to take the witnesses but on the other hand subpoenaed witnesses which notice was served to the respondent since 12th of July would be heard.

The petitioners had filled a list of 21 witnesses,15 of them are normal witnesses while 6 are subpoenaed witnesses from government agencies and departments.

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