APC Files Cross-appeal at S’Court, Seeks Deletion of Evidence of Atiku’s Witnesses

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Adams Oshiomhole

Alex Enumah in Abuja

In a counter move against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has filed a cross-appeal against the evidence of three data analysts who testified for the petitioners at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The party in the cross-appeal filed by its lead counsel, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), wants the Supreme Court to expunge the evidence of the three Information Communication and Technology (ICT) experts who testified on the existence of server allegedly used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to store results of the February 23 presidential election.
A copy of the cross-appeal, filed at the Supreme Court registry in Abuja, on Tuesday, was obtained wednesday.

The three key witnesses are Segun Sowunmi, a media aide to Atiku, David Njoga, a Kenyan and Joseph Gbenga.
They had in their testimony informed the tribunal that they analysed presidential election results state by state and found discrepancies in the results credited to Atiku and APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari.

They alleged that in the results sheets they analysed, the votes of Atiku were deliberately depleted while that of Buhari and APC were inflated.

The Kenyan expert in his evidence said INEC used the server, saying that he penetrated it to obtain the alleged authentic results of the February 23 presidential election, which ran counter to the one declared by the electoral body.

But Fagbemi in the cross-appeal pleaded with the Supreme Court for an order setting aside the evidence of the three witnesses and the documents, including video clips tendered through them from the bar.

Fagbemi also wants the apex court to expunge their testimonies and documents from the records of the court for being inadmissible in law.

The APC argued that the tribunal erred in law when it held that the evidence and the documents of the three witnesses were considered in the interest of natural justice.

Fagbemi said the decision of the tribunal on the point was untenable on the grounds that the issue of admissibility or otherwise of a document is a point of law and not natural justice as erroneously held by the tribunal.

Besides, he also sought an order of the apex court to strike out Atiku’s allegations of electoral malpractices in 10 states of the federation on the grounds that the allegations of the electoral fraud were vague and not specific as required by law.
According to him, the petitioners did not state the specific polling units were the alleged fraud were committed, hence they must be expunged for lacking in merit that can warrant the tribunal to look into them.

Atiku on Monday had filed a 66-ground of appeal upon which he predicated his prayers for setting aside the tribunal’s judgment that upheld the declaration of Buhari as winner of the February 23 presidential election.

The PDP candidate faulted the decision of the Justice Mohammed Garba-led panel which held that Buhari did not need to attach his academic certificates to the INEC’s Form CF 001 before he can stand for the presidential election.
Meanwhile no date has been fixed for the hearing of the appeals.