No fewer than 500 witnesses are expected to appear before the Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal to testify for Governor Umar Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress.
At a pre-trial hearing session, presided over by Justice Halima Shamnaki on Saturday, at Miller Road High Court complex, counsel to Ganduje, the second respondent in the petition, Barrister Offiong Offiong, informed the tribunal that 203 witnesses have been enlisted to testify before the tribunal in support of the election, wherein Ganduje was returned as the winner.
The witnesses, according to him have undergone all the pre-requisite requirements laid down by the law, which permits the witness to testify before the court.
Counsel to the APC, Barrister Christopher Oshiomole, also averred that the ruling party had a line-up of 300 witnesses.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC (the first respondent) through its counsel, Barrister Ahmed Raji (SAN) notified the court that the electoral umpire would present 29 witnesses before the tribunal, to give testimony on the conduct of the Kano governorship elections.
Earlier, counsel to the petitioners, Barrister Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) disclosed that the Peoples Democratic Party had enlisted 203 witnesses, who are expected to testify against the victory of Ganduje of the APC.
However, Awomolo prayed the Tribunal to strike out the contempt charges, filed on Form 048 and 049 against INEC, adding that INEC has availed the petitioners, with almost all the documents needed for inspection, adding that, only two documents are yet to be released to the petitioner by INEC, the tribunal heard.
In his response, Counsel to INEC, Ahmed Raji, requested that the documents released by the Commission to the petitioner should be inspected at the court premises, pointing out that the court complex was neutral ground
While delivering her ruling, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki struck out the contempt charges, filed against INEC, and adjourned the matter to July 16, 2019 for the continuation of pre-trial hearing. – Punch