……..Tribunal fixes judgment for September 20
The Election Petition Tribunal in Kwara has fixed judgment to September 20 on a petition filled by Peoples Democratic Party Gubernatorial candidate 2019, Razaq Atunwa against Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak alleging fake WAEC certificate.
Chairman of the Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, Justice Bassey Effiong, announced the adjournment on Wednesday after the final addresses of the respondent and petitioner counsel.
The case was adjourned on July 23, to Aug 14 for final written addresses by the two parties.
Earlier, Rowland Ottaru (SAN), INEC counsel said that the petition was bound to fail as they have not been able to prove all the allegations of forgery.
“They intended to call some witnesses but refused to bring all their witnesses to court and the person they brought from WAEC, we were able to establish our cases through him
”The witness they brought also supported our position and mentioned that the certificates that the Governor submitted to INEC were genuine and WAEC also confirmed that the certificate was genuine
“So the facts we have made is that, the WAEC result have been submitted to confirm that our position is genuine, and they have not been able to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt
“In any case when you allege crime or the commission of any crime or criminality, you must have to prove beyond reasonable doubt, which they have failed to do,” he said.
Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), counsel to Gov. AbdulRazaq said that they have confirmed the authenticity of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq WAEC certificate.
“The witness, Mohammed Yaro told the court that he finished from Government College, Kaduna, in 1976 with AbdulRazaq and they both sat for the West African School Certificate Examination
“The witness said that, “AbdulRahman, as we used to refer to him, seated in my front and his serial number in WAEC was 119, while mine was 122
“Governor AbdulRazaq is my bosom friend and both of us, together with other members of the class sat for the WAEC in June 1976 at the Government College in Kaduna, Kaduna State
“Based on what I know about the certificate of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, he was very much qualified to contest the March 9th, 2019 election,” he said.
Kingsley Odey, counsel to the petitioner said that they have adopted the petitioner final address, and highlighted the point that was in the subpoena to WAEC.
“We requested them to produce the second respondent’s WAEC certificate in 1976, if any, to know if he has ever sat for examination
“Unfortunately nothing of such was produced; Gov. AbdulRazaq’s WAEC certificate was never produced, except for the photocopy
“They forged documents that was annexed to the second respondent, and submitted it to INEC
“To buttress our point, the second respondent fed the witness that was brought to court as witness.
” The witness told the court that he sat for the exam in 1976 and after the exam; he was issued a WAEC certificate which he brought to court
“To embrace the fact that after the exam, he was issued a certificate, but the second respondent did not make any attempt to say that this is my WAEC certificate, with all the controversies surrounding all the forged certificates he submitted to INEC
“The documents he submitted to INEC are reading Razak A.R. and he is still arguing that it is Razak A.R and if we are to go by his initials, he will be AbdulRazak A., because an initial is the first letter of any word.
“They are insisting that it is Razak A.R, meanwhile, when an ellipsis is before a letter, it means that letter represent a different name entirely, so that is the point we are making
“It means that the certificate was forged, and he never made an attempt to contradict that position
“The natural response of anybody who have been alleged of forgery is; this is my original, as it will take him nothing to present the original, in as much as he has not told the world that it is missing, burnt by fire or whatever.
“The question is; where is the original certificate of Gov. AbdulRazaq?
“The witness that came to court said that he is an architect, which means, he has his original certificate and proceeded to higher institution and became an architect by training.
“The second respondent has not said anything beyond the fact that he went to secondary school, what next? After secondary school, where did he proceed to?
“We have made our point, and it is left to the tribunal to do their own as neutral body, so we are waiting for the judgment,” he said.