As INEC Presiding Officer insists results were electronically transmitted
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
A former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Buba Galadima, on Monday, testified against him before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, stating why he supported Atiku.
Galadima who appeared as the first witness of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, gave reasons why he refused to support Buhari during the 2019 presidential election.
In his Evidence in Chief, Galadima told the tribunal that he fell out with Buhari because of the injustice in his administration, lack of inclusiveness and his failure to secure the country.
Noting that he supported Buhari in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 election cycles, Galadima said he switched camp to support Atiku since his former friend failed to keep his campaign promises to Nigerians.
Under cross-examination, Galadima denied the allegation by Buhari’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, that he was aggrieved because he was not made a Minister under the APC administration.
“You fell out with the second respondent (Buhari) because he did not make you a minister in 2015?” Olanipekun asked him.
In his response, 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, inclusiveness and to secure the country, which he has failed to do.”
“It has always been part of my characteristics to fight injustice.”
When he was cross-examined by counsel to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Galadima admitted that the Reformed APC, which he spearheaded before the presidential campaigns started, was not a registered political association. Insisting that he remained the Chairman of the group, the PW-1 said he was never sacked by the APC, saying he remained a member of the ruling party.
“I am still a member of the APC. I have not been sacked. We are in court. I don’t want to be subjudice.
“I am not a member of PDP, but we have a memorandum of understanding with the PDP to produce God-fearing, good and educated leader,” he added before he was discharged from the witness box by the panel. Meanwhile, a Presiding Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ebenezer Olanikan, who testified as to the PW-3, maintained that results of the presidential election were electronically transmitted.
The witness said the electoral body was given a code. Asked by Buhari’s lawyer: “Did you personally transmit votes to the server”?
The witness said: “I did it myself as a presiding officer. We transmitted the result to INEC server through a code that was provided by INEC”.
Maintaining that the server was connected to the Smart Card Reader, the witness said, however, did not have particulars of the server.
Though the witness could not remember the server code off-hand, he said he could easily retrieve it from his phone if allowed by the tribunal.
Among 23 exhibits the tribunal so far admitted into evidence included the Form CF 001 that contained the affidavit President Buhari submitted to INEC for the purpose of the presidential poll.
The petitioners had among other things, alleged that Buhari lied on oath with respect to his educational qualification.