The governorship election petition tribunal in Plateau State in its resumed sitting in Jos and admitted evidence from four witnesses that testified before it by the petitioner’s counsel Prof. Kayode Olatoye .
However, the legal fireworks are heating up as the election petition Tribunal for Plateau State is set to resume hearing of the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress,(APC) ,Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda , challenging the declaration of Caleb Mutfwang as the winner of the March 18th governorship election in Plateau State….CONTINUE READING
The three-man panel of Hon. Justice. R. Irele- ifineh Hon. Just. Sunday Olorundahunsi
Hon. Just. A.Y. Joh as they resumed hearing on the petition filed by the APC and its governorship candidate listened to arguments and counter-arguments canvassed by counsels to Governor Caleb the People Democratic Party, (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st &2nd respondents respectively.
The argument centred on the admissibility or otherwise of documents and witnesses tendered and called by the complainants.
During the sitting, the respondents through his counsels led by Pius .A.Akubo tendered documents including section 84 subsections, a,b,c & d to counter the documents that were concerned which are fully certified in complying with the petitioners tendered documents dated 28/06 /2023 on the second scheduled by seeking the order of the court to adopt all processes.
However, the third respondent, Emeka Itiaba ,(SAN) said they have filed the objections in pursuant to the adoption of documents listed by the petitioners and said they preferred to go with the position of the 2nd respondent after which the tribunal admitted the documents, and marked it as exhibits.
Pius Akubo (,SAN) told the court that all his documents tendered in evidence were strongly relying on the set series of the said documents that border on the qualification of the 2nd respondent to contest the election and we need to bring the attention of the court for easy cross-examination of witnesses which potential regarding the petition.
However, an attempt by the petitioner’s counsel, Prof.Kayode vehemently opposed the application which he alleged was supported to be for a prehearing session. According to him, he argued that time had already been allocated to each to prove his case, especially the petitioners, but the respondents spent almost two hours on the same …, Kayode pleaded that the documents should be tender while the witness want to cross-examine the witness, but Akubo, SAN, rejected the said argument because it would be unfair for the respondents to use within the time of the petitioners.
Akubo draw the court’s attention to item 8 concerning CTC, which was tender from the Bar then where the scale of justice preached, he then tendered items 1-13 of the 2nd respondent and adopted the documents were carefully arranged in the order listed serially and sequentially to fast track the process.
Jurists admitted the said documents and marked them into exhibits 2HR1-R3, and several other documents were marked as exhibits.
Counsel to the petitioners, however, objected to the admissibility of the documents but reserved the arguments to the final addresses.
Ruling on the issue, Jurists reserved ruling on the propriety of the admissibility of the documents or otherwise but allowed the respondents to tender in the evidence brought before the tribunal.
Witnesses were also called the witness from Kura Falls Zakare polling unit 006:Gashit who is the ward returning officer, says I vote at polling unit 004 but the agent is one Gashom Ezekiel whom he can’t remember his full name during cross-examination that the allegation of rigging, which was objected by the counsels to the defendants, as he is not aware of any INEC documents.
When the respondents want to tender documents through the bar, but Kayode Pius Akubo both SAN, there was a rowdy session and the respondent’s counsel tendered an apology on behalf of the lawyers.
The testimony of the APC collation agent of Naraguta ‘B’ ward Aliyu Umaru gave evidence during cross-examination that there are 14 BVAS machines that disappeared during the cross-examination at the LG collation center.
The APC collation agent had disclosed that he leaves at Febuna and that he was appointed by INEC, not his party to carry out the assignment in the ward because a tag was given to him by INEC to embark on monitoring all the 264 polling units….CONTINUE READING