7th October, 2011
Senator Ahmed Makarfi of PDP on Thursday tendered 53 ballot boxes before the Election Petition Tribunal as evidence of alleged election malpractice in the National Assembly polls held in April.
Makarfi, former governor of Kaduna State and PDP senatorial candidate in the April general elections, is contesting the election of CPCâ€™s Datti Ahmed before the tribunal sitting in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Makarfi tendered the boxes from 30 electoral wards in seven of the eight local government areas that constituted the Northern Senatorial District of the state.
The affected local governments are Zaria, Sabongari, Kubau, Kudan, Makarfi, Soba and Ikara.
Makarfi, represented by his counsel, Mr Yunus Ustaz (SAN), alleged mass rigging and stuffing of the boxes with fake, unsigned and unstamped ballot papers in the 53 polling units.
He also tendered Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C and EC8D to the tribunal as further evidence of the alleged electoral malpractice in the affected polling units, and urged the tribunal to recount the boxes to ascertain his claims.
Makarfi also urged the tribunal to cancel the results of the affected polling units and declare him the winner of the election.
The respondent, represented by his counsel, Malam Jafar Abbas, objected to the recounting of the boxes on the ground that the petitioner had cited stuffing of the boxes with fake and unsigned ballot papers as the basis of bringing them to the tribunal.
Abbas also said the affected polling units were not pleaded by the petitioner in both the main petition and his deposition on oath.
The tribunalâ€™s Chairman, Justice Daniel Kalio, however, said the issue of recounting the boxes or not should be backed by relevant authorities.
He directed the counsel to both parties to provide all the necessary authorities for or against the recounting of the boxes. Kalio adjourned the case for further hearing.