Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said that the suit filed against his victory by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the governorship polls is weighed down by the burden of proof.

Counsel to Ganduje, Ibrahim Mukthar, told newsmen yesterday, that their camp was not under pressure to counter the allegations filed by the governorship candidate of the PDP, Abba Kabiru Yusuf.

According to him, in electoral disputes the petitioners are under the mandate to execute the burden of proof, stressing that the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate presented only 39 out of its over 200 enlisted witnesses.

Mukthar, who is the immediate past Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, maintained that “so far, we have nothing to bother ourselves about.

“They did not come strongly on the issues they raised; they failed to produce the huge number of witnesses. So, I feel they did not present the burden of proof, in this case and we decided to respond by bringing only four witnesses”.

Meanwhile, INEC’s Returning Officer for Nassarwa Local Government Area in the state, Prof Ibrahim Khaleel, has dismissed the claims that the elections at Gawa Ward in Nassarawa Local Government of Kano were characterized by over voting and violence.

The university teacher, who appeared before the state tribunal on subpoena, declared that there were no formal reports of violence and over-voting during the governorship election held on March 9, in Gama Ward.

According to him, what really happened was that INEC Returning Officer in the said ward only failed to reconcile the results scored by the gubernatorial contestants, adding that on two occasions, he had cause to direct him to reconcile his figures.

Khaleel said: “I did not receive a formal report about the violence in Gama Ward. I was told. I did receive a report about the cancellation of the results in Gama…I did not cancel the results in Gama Ward.”

He had earlier said that what later happened at the local government collation centre was “Hon Farouk Lawan and some others stood on me, which was intimidating, and the collation hall was crowded, some people came from behind me, I did not see their faces to know who they were, then pandemonium broke out.

“I ran out of the building and took cover, later we relocated to the state collation centre for safety. There were gunshots, there was chaos and the electoral documents were carted away by one Dr Umar Tanko Yakasai, who was my former student, I know him very well.”

The presiding judge, Justice Halima Shamaki ordered that the matter be adjourned till August 26 for continuation of hearing.

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