Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A mild drama played out on Wednesday at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal when one of the witnesses called by the People’s Democratic Party and its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, broke down in tears.
The witness, Mohammed Yahaya, who was the 57th to be called at the tribunal said he served as the PDP agent for Aboto Ward in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State during the February 23 election.
Before the emotional incident, he had told the tribunal in his evidence-in-chief how two persons were shot by thugs of the All Progressives Congress who stormed a polling unit in his ward on the day of the election.
According to his testimony, the two victims were rushed to the hospital, but one of them died much later.
Yahaya further narrated how he witnessed violence in the polling units where he voted and the others he visited during the election but could not tell of the situation in the ones he did not visit.
“I ran away for my dear life. Where I did not visit, our agents told me they ran away for their dear lives,” he said.
The witness, who said he was fondly called “Honourable” by his mother whom he said had pampered him before her death, insisted that Aboto Ward had always been the stronghold of the PDP.
He said the PDP would have won in the ward had there been no violence in the ward.
Yayaha stated: “It was House of Assembly election and they are challenging it in court.”
But while under cross-examination by President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Yayaha shed tears and refused to be consoled.
Tears rolled out from his eyes when Olanikpekun stated that lives of people were being toyed with over politics.
He broke down in tears when Olanipekun repeated the question to extract a more satisfactory answer.
“You people are just playing politics with peoples’ lives. People died,” he said.
It took about five minutes for the head of the five-man panel, Justice Mohammed Garba, to pacify him.
However, reacting to the development, Olanipekun said: “We are used to people like him. My question had nothing to do with death.”
Under cross-examination by All Progressives Congress’ lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the witness confirmed that the APC won in 2015 elections in the ward.