West African Examinations Council, on Thursday, tendered the examination result of the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to the state’s governorship election petitions tribunal and confirmed that the document submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 election was genuine.
Testifying before the three-member tribunal in Ilorin, Mr Victor Olorunsola, a senior examination officer of WAEC at the Ilorin office said Abdulrazaq sat for his secondary school examination in 1976 at Government College, Kaduna.
The council also confirmed that the governor sat for the exams using Razaq A.R. as contained in the credentials he repeatedly submitted to the INEC when contesting for elections.
Olorunsola tendered the certified true copy of the results of the governor and other candidates of the same set to the Kwara State Election Petitions Tribunal chaired by Justice Bassey Efiong.
The PDP is challenging the election of AbdulRazaq on the allegation that he does not have WAEC results as required by law.
The witness, during cross-examination, also confirmed to the tribunal that at least 31 other candidates had their names abbreviated, putting to rest claims by the PDP that the WAEC did not allow abbreviations during that time.
The certified true copy of the result was signed by WAEC’s Deputy Registrar, School Examinations Department, Oshindehinde HSA, on behalf of the Head of National Office of the body, Olu Adenipekun.
The result was presented following a subpoena of the tribunal at the request of the PDP.
The cross-examination was preceded by a mild drama at the tribunal when Paul Erokoro (SAN), counsel for the PDP governorship candidate, Razak Atunwa, disowned the representative of WAEC just minutes after he vehemently fought to have him testify at the tribunal.
Erokoro said he no longer agreed that the witness had truly come to represent the examination body because the subpoena did not suggest that he had been asked to represent WAEC.
“We don’t accept this witness as coming from WAEC because there’s no minute on the subpoena that he’s from WAEC. We can’t take his ID as evidence that he’s from WAEC. WAEC should send a witness with instructions to testify on its behalf. We shall therefore be applying for a bench warrant for the head of WAEC to appear before this tribunal,” Erokoro said.
Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Rowland Otaru (SAN); Governor AbdulRazaq’s counsel, Kunle Kalejaiye SAN; and for the APC, Akin Olujimi, SAN, objected to the application.
They insisted that the witness had been sworn on oath and had given his evidence and so must be cross-examined accordingly.
The tribunal, in its ruling, rejected the PDP’s application on the grounds that there was no sufficient evidence to say that the witness did not come from WAEC.
“We recall that the (witness) was presented by petitioners as WAEC representative. He’s been sworn on oath that he’s WAEC representative. He has presented his ID. He said he’s here to present the document based on the subpoena. All of these constituted evidence and there was no accusation of any sort against (this witness),” Justice Effiong said.
He ruled, “We hold that the witness’s evidence be continued or if it is concluded, then he must be cross-examined.”
The case was adjourned till July 23, 2019 for Abdulrazaq and APC to open their defence.