Nwachukwu Princely, Abuja.
The collation agent for the Peoples Democratic Party in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, Bukar Bukar Petrol, told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Thursday, that the All Progressives Congress took advantage of the bombings that occurred in Damboa town during the February 23, 2019 election, to rig.
Petrol testified as the 27th petitioners’ witness at the instance of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who are challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC.
Under cross-examination by respondents’ lawyers, Petrol said because of the security situation of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State, the 100 polling units in the 10 wards of the Damboa Local Government Area were cited on the premises of the Local Government Secretariat in Damboa town.
He said the distribution of sensitive electoral materials in the LG area which ought to have commenced by 4:00 a.m. was deliberately delayed by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s officers till 8:00 a.m.
He said voting commenced at some few minutes past 10:00 a.m.
He said in the course of the voting, there were bombings in the area which made everybody run to safety.
He said by the time they returned to the venue of the election, the Civilian Joint Task Force, had taken over the election and the APC allegedly took advantage of the situation to rig.
He added, “When the explosions occurred, everybody ran away. After the explosions, the Civilian JTF took over the election and the 3rd respondent (APC) took advantage of the situation to rig the election.”
He said he subsequently reported the incident to the Divisional Police Officer, the military intelligence, the Criminal Investigation Bureau, the military police, head of the National Orientation Agency and his party, the PDP.
He confirmed that it was only the report to his party that was in writing.