The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna state during the 2019 general elections, Isah Ashiru Kudan, on Tuesday filed an application seeking for a recount of the votes cast in the March 9 governorship poll.

The counsel to Ashiru, Elisha Kurah (SAN), who submitted the application during the commencement of pre-hearing session in Kaduna before the Justice I. M Bako-led tribunal, disclosed this today.

Kurah, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the adjournment of the case said: “We filed an application requesting to recount the votes cast during the election. It is very crucial as we are alleging which is supported by the evidence we have that most of the results declared were phantom votes.”

“Votes were just inflicted randomly just to make the APC have the semblance of winning; they were back up by votes in the ballot boxes. So, we want a complete recount of the votes cast in the governorship election. We are expecting that the results would show that the PDP actually won the election,” Kurah said.

On his part, the counsel to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, Abdulhakeem Mustapha, said: “We intend to oppose the applications on their merit. We have a preliminary objection that the petition is not competent. They (PDP and Ashiru) have an application that they want the tribunal to direct that the ballots be counted one after the other in open court, and we intend to oppose those applications.

“The Electoral Act is in our favour; the Kaduna people have spoken. They picked governor El-Rufai and nothing is going to change that. We are here to defend the mandate the people have given to the governor. We intend to convince the tribunal that the petition lacks merit and it should be dismissed,” Mustapha said.

Justice Bako later adjourned the session to May 25 to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the two other respondents in the petition time to respond to the PDP’s application on votes recount.