By: Valentine Adese, and Ifeanyi Okonkwo
The Election Petition Tribunal looking into matters arising out of the 20th February rerun election ordered by the Court of Appeal and conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Pankshin South Constituency of Plateau State, has concluded its Pre-hearing session today and has fixed Monday, 25th April to begin the main hearing of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, challenging the election.
You would recall that the petition of Nwansat Istifanus Caleb and the PDP is basically challenging the rerun election held on 20th February, 2016, in Pyabor polling unit in Pankshin South Constituency of Plateau State.
Respondents to the Petition are, Hon. Gideon Dashe, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and INEC.
In the Pre-hearing session today, the Tribunal and Counsel to the various parties in the petition, agreed that the issues germane for the determination of the petition are as follows:
1. Whether the rerun election of 2016 was done in substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
2. Whether there is a dispute as regards to the scores of the election.
3. Whether only people with Permanent Voters Card (PVC) voted in the rerun election and,
4. Whether the petitioners have proved their case among others.
According to the Tribunal Chairman, Hon. Justice Ebiowei Tobi, the report of the Pre-hearing session would be ready on Monday, 25th April, 2016 and that the main hearing would commence immediately.
You would recall that the chairman during his inauguration speech had warned the Petitioners and Respondents not to try and reach them in anyway.
Adding that, “if you give anybody your money, it will enter voice mail. We came with our integrity and we will go back with our integrity.”