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PDP, Ashiru seek recount of Kaduna governorship votes

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Isah Ashiru, candidate for governor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the general election of 2019 in Kaduna State, on Tuesday presented a request to recount the votes cast during the March 9 elections.

Ashiru’s lawyer, Elisha Kurah (SAN), presented the request to the court led by Judge I. M Bako who began the pre-audition session on Tuesday in Kaduna.

However, Judge Bako suspended the session until May 25 to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the other two respondents at the time of the petition to respond to the PDP counting request.

Kurah, who spoke to journalists shortly after the updated session, urged the court to order the INEC to recount the votes cast during the governor’s election.

“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.

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

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Also speaking to NAN, counsel to PDP, Ibrahim Bawa SAN, stated that he also filed application seeking that certain paragraphs of the respondents’ responses to the application be stroked out for lack of merit.

Meanwhile, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, counsel to Gov Nasiru El-Rufai, in a separate interview with NAN, 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.“

Mustapha added: “The Electoral Act is in our favour, the Kaduna people have spoken, they picked Malam 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.”

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