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Drama as witness sobs during examination

A PDP witness broke down in tears while testifying before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal over alleged election violence.

Muhammed Arume Yahaya, a ward collation agent for Abocho in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, became emotional, Wednesday, during cross examination and was assisted to clean his tears.

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Counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), questioned him on whether he knew what was happening when he went into hiding as a result of gunshots by thugs in his ward, but he said he lost people as a result of the violence and began to cry.

He said two indigenes of the community were shot at and one died in hospital.

“There was no election; they just allocated votes to themselves,” he said.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, consoled the witness, who said his deceased mother gave him the nick name ‘Honourable’ because she wanted him to be a great politician.

“We expect you to be a strong man; your mother wanted you to be a strong man, so be strong and answer the question,” the judge said.

Earlier, Yahaya testified that of the 29 polling units in his ward, there was no election in 18.

But under cross examination by defence lawyers – Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) for INEC; Olanipekun (Buhari) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) for APC – he admitted that he was only able to visit 10 of the units before violence broke out, adding that he wouldn’t know what happened while he ran for his “dear life”.

The witness had claimed that the ward was a PDP stronghold, adding that “PDP would have won the election if they had allowed election to hold peacefully.”

But when he was questioned by Fagbemi, he admitted that APC won the election in the ward in 2015.

The witness, who said he did not understand Hausa but Igala language, could not also explain why he signed his statement on oath which had a footnote that indicated that it was translated on his behalf from Hausa language to English.

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