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Kaduna PDP senatorial candidate escapes attack as suspected APC thugs invade tribunal, says life in danger

By News Express on 01/07/2019

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•PDP Kaduna Central senatorial candidate Lawal Adamu Usman
•PDP Kaduna Central senatorial candidate Lawal Adamu Usman

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Kaduna Central in the February 2019 elections, Lawal Adamu Usman a.k.a Mr. LA, narrowly escaped lynching by thugs suspected to have been sent by his opponent, Uba Sani, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last Saturday.

Recall that at the last sitting of the Kaduna State Senatorial Elections Petitions Tribunal, Ustaz Yunus Usman SAN, lead counsel to Adamu Usman in the petition challenging the result of the election, alerted the judges that he was being harassed by security agents who claimed to be acting on the request of Uba Sani.

The Senior Advocate stated that he had been invited by the security and later granted bail but had been trailed ever since by security operatives.

The tribunal cautioned security operatives against further attempts at harassing the petitioner, Adamu Usman, or any of his counsel pending the determination of the substantive suit.

At the resumed hearing on Saturday, June 29, at which the petitioner was present, suspicious faces were noticed within the premises of the Kaduna State High Court venue of the tribunal.

This was brought to the notice of the open court by the petitioner’s lawyer and a female member of the panel of judges confirmed sighting the suspicious persons. Alarmed by the development, the tribunal Chairman acted swiftly by calling the attention of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) to it.

The DSS operatives drafted to the tribunal also confirmed in open court the presence of unfriendly persons around the premises but said they were in control of the situation.

At the close of the hearing, the thugs who turned out to be dangerously armed pounced on the petitioner as he was leaving the courtroom. It took the concerted effort of the security and the petitioner's supporters to save him from imminent lynching.

Commenting on the incident after he was saved, Lawal Adamu Usman said his life is currently under threat but said he will not be intimidated to dump his struggle to reclaim the people’s mandate through legal means.

Saturday’s attack on the tribunal might not be unconnected with the rendering in evidence of series of damning documents by the petitioner that purports to prove that the first respondent, Uba Sani, did not resign his appointment with the Kaduna State Government before going into the elections as required by extanct laws.

Speaking with an eyewitness, Chief Chris Onyegbunam, at the premises of the Kaduna High Court, venue of the Election Tribunal, he corroborated the report of the venue crowded with suspicious characters which was very much unlike past hearings.

According to Chief Onyegbunam, “We were in the court when the lawyer representing Hon Mr LA, raised an observation that he had credible information that thugs had taken strategic positions inside court premises.

“Of course, many of us who has come to listen to the proceedings were taken aback and concerned for our personal safety. For a fact, I was disturbed at the extent to which some people would go, in truncating our democratic processes.

“When the court adjourned its sitting on the case to allow it hear petitions from other cases, the court surroundings was enveloped in shouts from different supporters but the intimidating presence of armed operatives of the Department of State Security allowed for the PDP candidate to be scurried safely into his car which sped out of the premises amidst close protection.”

A political analyst, Tanimu Abdullahi, expressed his worries over the development, saying that the next adjourned date of 7th July would see about heavy security presence and wondered why such acts of rascality would be so displayed openly.

Asked as to the identity of the suspected thugs, Tanimu said nobody could readily identify the miscreants as they have no uniforms whatsoever.

He however opined that it could have been anybody wanting to draw attention or, possibly, send a message.

One of youths present who simply gave his name as Yushu’a, said Mr. LA is their choice and any attempt to intimidate him, would be resisted at all cost.

“We formed a human shield and escorted Hon. Lawal outside and even when outside, some people made advances to lunge at him but we were smarter than them,” he stated.

An APC supporter who preferred not to be named, said the alarm is unnecessary as it was the huge crowd that had come to show support for their respective candidates and certainly, not thugs.

“Many people were outside the Tribunal Hall as it was over filled. Those outside were just people discussing with one another and with many trying be heard, the noise might have been mistaken for thugs or whatever. And, like reported, it's only suspected since many of the people around were not wearing any party uniforms or insignia,” he stated.

Source News Express

Posted 01/07/2019 1:12:08 PM





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