The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, fixed March 13 to commence hearing on a suit seeking to jail one Ladi Hassan, who was agent of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, during the collation of results of the 2015 Kwara Central Senatorial District election.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/92/2018, is alleging that Hassan, alongside the collating/returning officer for the Kwara Central Senatorial poll, Mrs. Mulkah Ahmed, manipulated the outcome of the election.
The case was lodged before the court by a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Abdurahman Abdulrazaq. The plaintiff is seeking an order of mandamus compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the sole defendant in the case, to prosecute the duo. Abdulrazaq who was the Senatorial candidate of the PDP in Kwara Central, told the court that Saraki was declared the winner of the election on March 28, 2017, when the results were only collated by just Ahmed and Hassan (Saraki’s agent) at the district level on March 29, 2015. The plaintiff attached to his suit, two sets of exhibits. While Exhibit 1, showing that “summaries of results from wards and local government areas that make up the senatorial district were finally compiled on March 29, 2015, as the date on each of these forms read the same collation date.” The second document marked Exhibit 2, was identified as INEC FORM EC 8E(1) being “the Declaration of Results of Election compiled by by Dr. (Mrs.) Mulkah A. Ahmed (the returning officer) and Ladi Hassan, agent to Dr. Bukola Saraki.”
The plaintiff alleged before the court that only Saraki’s agent and the collation officer signed the form. Besides, the plaintiff, in a supporting affidavit that was deposed to by his aide, Adebayo Oloyin, averred in part, “That it is a common sense that collation date will always precede declaration date as the collation dictates declaration of results.” The deponent maintained that the “offence committed” by the persons indicted in the alleged electoral fraud, cost his boss the merit of a petition he filed at the Election Petition Tribunal to challenge Saraki’s election. Saraki had after winning the Kwara Central election, also contested and won the position of the Senate President. Meanwhile, Justice Binta Nyako directed the service of all the court processes and hearing notice on INEC to enable it to respond to the suit before the next adjourned date.