By Ikechukwu Nnochiri (Vanguard)
Presidential Election Tribunal- A witness, Mr. Mohammed Tata, on Monday, 8/7/2019 alleged that he was compelled under duress to sign result of the presidential election in his polling unit
The witness who served as an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Jigawa State, told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja that he was threatened to either sign a copy of the result or have his name removed as a beneficiary in the N-Power scheme. Answering a question that was posed to him by counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Yunus Usman, SAN, the witness said: “I was harassed and intimidated to sign the result sheet under duress. I was told that if I refuse to sign, my name will be removed from the N-Power Program”. Asked if he was dissatisfied that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC scored over 700 votes in his polling unit, the witness said: “There was no score because there was no election”.
Continuing he said: “I am a Muslim. I believe in destiny and what God decides will happen. Whether PDP win or the APC, I don’t have a problem with that. All I want is that I need justice in my country. “I don’t care whether my party won or lost, but I am not happy about what happened”. Asked how many parties participated in the election in his polling unit, Mr. Tata who testified as the fifth witness for the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said: “I don’t know because there was no election”. Asked if he was given a copy of the result, he said: “No I was not given because there was no peace”. He decried that though he “followed due process” by reporting how he was harassed to sign the result, he said the culprits were neither arrested nor prosecuted. Asked by APC’s lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, why he did not mention names of those that harassed him in his statement on oath, the witness said it was “for security reasons”. “I am still working with the N-Power because I signed the result. It is because I did what they wanted me to do”, he added.