Tuesday 14 September 2021


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

As the matter between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) continued today, the 14th of September, 2021, the PDP has urged the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice I. Kunda, to look into his file and find that, the Defendant has already put in a new Counter Affidavit, which it intends to use and replace the earlier one, alleged to be toxic with.

The PDP, through its Counsel, Edward Pwajok (SAN), who led S. G. Odey (Esq), S. Oyawole (Esq) and 7 other lawyers for the Claimant, said the process (the new Counter Affidavit) is already in the file of the Court, without the leave of Court.

You would recall that, the PDP had yesterday, the 13th of September, 2021, urged the Court to dismiss the Notice of Preliminary Objection (PO) filed by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) in Suit No.  PLD/J250/2021, which is a response to its Originating Summons, filed on the 6th of July, 2021, for being allegedly toxic, when the matter came up for hearing.

This line of objection came when the Counsel to PLASIEC, G. S Pwul (SAN), request to withdraw the PO and asked the Court to strike out same.

In his vehement objection to the application, Counsel to the PDP, Edward Pwajok (SAN) had described the PO as toxic and vexatious and that, “the best the Court can do to it is dismiss the PO”.

However, owing to the authorities cited by, Pwajok (SAN) in urging the Court to out rightly dismiss the PO the Court had adjourned the matter to today, by11am, to enable the Counsel to PLASIEC respond.

In his response today, the Counsel to PLASIEC, had argued that the authorities cited by the PDP, were not decided on the grounds that, an objector cannot withdraw his application, even when issues are joined.

He said the PDP must demonstrate and go further to show why the withdrawal cannot be granted.

Garba Pwul (SAN), Counsel to PLASIEC submitted that, “The issues and the authorities cited are not related and hence, goes to no point, as long as the Claimant has opportunity to respond to the process to be filed.

“This means that, they cannot claim to be over reached. Furthermore, the objection is already in our Counter. So, where is the foreclosure?

“Until we come to the application to be filed, the PDP cannot complain of the application or over reaching.

“Because they have filed a response to the process, cannot constitute an abuse. There is no practice banning the filing of new applications in a matter. The old one must be withdrawn before the new one is introduced to the Court.

“The PDP submitted that, our application is toxic and now we want to withdraw the toxic material. Even if we have filed two Counter Affidavits, it is trait that we should choose which to adopt.

“We urge the Court to allow the matter to be heard on its merit.

“When objection is based on Law, there is nothing to hide. Assuming we cannot withdraw the Counter. We urge the Court to hold that the Counter can stand.

“In conclusion, I urge the Court to dismiss the objection of the PDP for being a complete misconception of the right to withdraw”.

Reacting on this line and base on the directive of the Judge on whether he has right to look at a process not before the Court, Pwajok (SAN) firmly supported his answer with authorities that, he can.

Hon. Justice Kunda has adjourned the matter to Friday the 17th of September, for ruling.


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