Tribunal: ABU, NECO, others testify against Kaduna Senator on certificate forgery

The All Progressive Congress (APC) Senatorial candidate for Kaduna Central, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi has presented six witnesses in a suit challenging the victory and qualifications of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate, Lawal Adamu. (referred to as Mr. La).

The three-man Election Petition Tribunal panel, led by Justice HH Kereng, heard testimonies from the witnesses from the former schools attended by the PDP candidate as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU), the first witness presented to the tribunal, was represented by a member of the University legal team, Associate Professor Abubakar Is’haq from the faculty of law at the university. The university was subpoenaed to provide records of files of Lawal Adamu while he was a student of the institution. 

The second witness, National Examination Council (NECO), represented by the Director of Special Duties, Esther Bala Wuyaa, presented certified result confirmation to the court.

The third witness that testified against the Senator was Demonstration Primary School through the Head Teacher of the school, Dr. Ibrahim Yusuf. The school tendered to the court the school registration records from 1982 to 1986, which showed no record of Lawal Adamu Usman as student of the school as he claimed in the documents he submitted to INEC prior to the 2023 general elections.

Also testifying, the Principal of Government Day Secondary School (GDSS), Gwagwalada, Bello Suleiman told the tribunal that based on available records at the school, there was no candidate with the name of Lawal Adamu Usman from the year 1986 to 1994 as claimed by Senator Lawal Adamu Usman as submitted to Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in form CF001 for the 2023 general elections. 

Two additional witnesses including INEC representative were called upon following the issuance of subpoenas by the court through the Petitioner’s Counsel, Johnson Usman SAN.

During the tribunal proceedings, Counsel to the first respondent, M.A Magaji SAN, cross-examined all the witnesses with no objections.

Counsel to Muhammad Sani Abdullahi of the APC, Johnson Usman (SAN), while responding to questions from journalists shortly after the Court sitting, explained that one of the grounds for the petition was the first respondent’s qualification to contest election given his presentation of forged certificates, and also substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

All schools that testified, submitted their school registers to the court as evidence.

The tribunal adjourned sitting to the 11th of July, 2023 for continuation of admission of additional witnesses of certificate forgeries against the defendant.