A former Information Minister and the gubernatorial candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance at the April 11 elections in Nasarawa State, Mr. Labaran Maku says he is confident of victory at the electoral tribunal sitting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
He said that citizens of the state should expect the state to be the first to get justice in this new dispensation.
The former minister made the declaration Thursday during a press briefing on the conclusion of their presentations at the electoral tribunal in Abuja.
Maku told the media that at the close of the tribunal presentation on Wednesday, the electoral body (INEC) failed to close its case without a single witness before the tribunal, after filing 25 witnesses and boasting of having enough evidence to counter APGA’s claim of massive irregularities during and after the election.
His words, “rather than bringing the witnesses forward, INEC withdrew its case because its witnesses turned hostile and were not prepared to testify under oath”.
‘’After all the entries, reviews of witnesses , presentation of documents and motions, claims and counter claims, I am more certain and convinced that Al-Makura ought not to have presented himself ab-initio to be sworn in as governor of Nasarawa state.
‘‘I think it’s unfortunate that the electoral act and the constitution allow people who rigged elections to be sworn in as opposed to the constitution in 1979, when electoral petitions were handled before swearing in.
“For me, the electoral body that proclaimed Al-makura the winner could not present the witnesses it said it had. It was evident that INEC and APC went for a reckless and fraudulent mutilation of results.”
According to him, ‘Most of the Adhoc staff recruited by INEC were APC members, so they did all the damage because if you conduct a survey in the state you will observe that 7 out of 10 people will tell you APGA won the election”.
He further reiterated that he would never have gone to court if he wasn’t convinced that he won the election.
He however, challenged President Mohammadu Buhari to live up to his promises by ensuring that he makes INEC and the judiciary better than he met them, reminding him that he has the opportunity of reforming the two organization which he once claimed robbed him victory at the polls.
‘‘I have no reason to doubt the INEC and the judiciary under the leadership of President Buhari because when he contested election and lost, he said the INEC and the judiciary robbed him victory and now he is in charge, I expect him to bring that change he had always wanted in both organizations.
‘‘President Jonathan has really transformed Nigeria from 2010 to date. His party PDP lost many states to opposition parties and he congratulated them. He also lost to Buhari and called him to congratulate him. That makes him a good democrat and true reformer.
‘‘What I expect President Buhari to do now is to take the INEC and judiciary reform to the next level by making them to be more independent.’’