By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
As Atiku Abubakar and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) petition continues at the tribunal, two witnesses, yesterday, maintained that the birth place of Atiku in 1946 was Northern Nigeria and not Cameroon as claimed by respondents in the petition.
Also yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari presented a video clip wherein the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, was shown speaking on the challenges hindering the adoption of electronic voting for the 2019 general election.
The video clip which was admitted in evidence by the tribunal as exhibits, showed programme aired on Channels television of February 6, 2019, where Yakubu identified telecommunication and security challenges as major constraints in the area of transmitting election results electronically.
It will be recall that All Progressives Congress (APC) in reply to Atiku and PDP’s petition, averred that as at the time Atiku was born in Jada, the province was part of Cameroon and not Nigeria.
Consequently, the respondents posited that the former Vice President was not qualified in the first instance to have contested the February 23 presidential poll.
However, at the resumed proceeding, petitioner’s witnesses, Ambassador Mabien Zamaki and Mohammed Hayatu, respectively testified that Jada belonged to part of Northern Nigeria when Atiku was born in 1946.
Zamaki, a retired career diplomat,
adopting his statement on oath as his evidence in chief said that he was aware with detailed record that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946, at Jada in the northern part of Nigeria.
He however, admitted not been present when Aisha Hindatu, mother of Atiku, gave birth to Atiku.
Led in evidence by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), the testifier informed the tribunal that Atiku’s record in his former secondary school was not confidential.
He maintained that the record can be accessed by anybody doubting the 2019 Presidential election main challenger’s nationality.
Under cross examination, he admitted that he saw the record from the custodian of the record in their secondary school and that the record is still there for anybody to cross check.
Further in his testimony, he told the tribunal that he has fair knowledge of history of Nigeria as it relates to Jada in Adamawa.
Moreover, he insisted that in 1946 when Atiku was born, Jada was part and parcel of Northern Nigeria and not part of Cameroon as suggested by the APC’s counsel.
“To the best of my knowledge Jada was a part of Northern Nigeria even before 1946,” he said.
Another witness, Mohammed Hayatu, a retired Customs Officer, corroborated the Nigerian nationality of the former vice-president.
Hayatu, in his evidence, told the tribunal that he came in contact with Atiku’s record in the Nigerian Customs Service where Atiku retired as a senior Customs Officer.
Under cross examination, Hayatu submitted that Adamawa was part of Northern Nigeria and that Jada fell on the part of Northern Nigeria and not Cameroon.
He admitted that part of Adamawa State used to be part of Cameroon, but maintained that Jada was never part of the area of Adamawa that used to be in Cameroon.
Other witnesses from both Adamawa and Nasarawa States called to give evidence attested to incidents of intimidation, harrasment, over voting and allocation of votes to parties by ad hoc staff of the INEC.
Peter Alli in his evidence, alleged that an official INEC, Abubakar Kaura was found with a whopping sum of $10,000 dollars on the day of election.
Ali who said he was the ward collation officer also alleged that the $10,000 dollars was a bribe for the INEC officer to manipulate the outcome of the election results in the area of Nasarawa State.
Meantime, Atiku and PDP have called up 49 witness to prove that President Buhari and APC were not the winner of 2019 Presidential election.