Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Kwara State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has slated September 20 to give judgment in the petition filed by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Rasak Atunwa, challenging the election of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Atunwa is challenging AbdulRazaq’s election on the grounds that the governor had allegedly presented a forged secondary school certificate and was therefore not qualified to run for governor – a claim AbdulRazaq insists is unfounded.
Respondents in the case are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), AbdulRazaq, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the resumption of the hearing on Wednesday, counsel to Atunwa and the respondents adopted their final written addresses before the three-person tribunal chaired by Justice Bassey Efiong.
While Atunwa called on the tribunal to hold that AbdulRazaq was not qualified to run in the election, AbdulRazaq said the petitioner failed to prove the allegation of forgery while the West African Examination Council (WAEC), which the petition had subpoenaed, confirmed to the tribunal that the governor had sat its examination in 1976.
The respondents urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.
The PDP’s candidate, which had listed several witnesses for the case, only called on WAEC to testify in the matter.
In its testimony, however, WAEC said AbdulRazaq wrote the exams and had his certificate issued to him as Razaq A.R., the same name had used for the examination.
WAEC, which was represented by Olorunsola Victor, a senior examination officer, also told the tribunal that at least 31 other candidates also had their names abbreviated in the same year.
A classmate of AbdulRazaq at the Kaduna Government College, Kabiru Yaro, who testified for the respondent, told the tribunal that the governor sat in front of him during the examination with serial number 119.
The tribunal has reserved judgment in the case until September 20.