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Ashiru, PDP move to dethrone El-Rufai, seek recount of ballot

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Isah Ashiru, on Tuesday, filed an application seeking for a recount of the votes cast during the March 9 governorship polls.

Ashiru’s counsel, Elisha Kurah (SAN), submitted the application to the Justice I. M Bako-led tribunal that commenced pre-hearing session in Kaduna.

Justice Bako, however, adjourned the session to May 25 to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the two other respondents in the petition time to respond to the PDP’s application on votes recount.

Kurah who spoke to journalists shortly after the adjournment of the session urged the tribunal to order INEC for the recount of the votes cast.

He explained, “We filed an application requesting to recount the votes cast during the election.

“It is very crucial as we are alleging which is supported by the evidence we have that most of the results declared were phantom votes.

“They were back up by votes in the ballot boxes. So we want a complete recount of the votes cast in the governorship election.

“We are expecting that the results would show that the PDP actually won the election.

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“But votes were just inflicted randomly just to make the APC have the semblance of winning.”

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Counsel to PDP, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), told newsmen that he also filed an application seeking that certain paragraphs of the respondents’ responses to ”our application be struck out for lack of merit.”

Meanwhile, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, Counsel to Gov Nasiru El-Rufai in a separate interview with newsmen said, “The petitioners of the PDP and its candidate, Isa Ashiru have four highly contentious applications.

“And we intend to oppose the applications on their merit. And the tribunal has given us a new date for us to come and argue the applications. So, the matter is adjourned for hearing of all the pending applications.

“We have a preliminary objection that the petition is not competent. They (PDP and Ashiru) have an application that they want the tribunal to direct that the ballots be counted one after the other in open court, and we intend to oppose those applications.”

According to him, the Electoral Act is in our favour, the Kaduna people have spoken. They picked Mal. El-Rufai and nothing is going to change that.

“We are here to defend the mandate the people have given to the governor. We intend to convince the tribunal that the petition lacks merit and it should be dismissed,” Mustapha said.

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