Monday 26 June 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Petitioners in Petition No: EPT/PL/GOV/03/2023, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have opened the prosecution of their case with the tendering of Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents from the Bar, as agreed by parties during the Pre-hearing Session.

The Commission of Police (CP) Plateau State Command and the Chairman of INEC have been ordered by the Tribunal to produce documents to the Tribunal as specified in the Subpoena they were served, on or before 7 days.

According to the Petitioners, the Subpoena, had directed INEC Chairman to produce:

  1. To produce information extracted from the BVAS machine devices used for the election.
  2. CTCs of record of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) collected  by voters in Plateau State as at 23 March, 2023
  3. To produce CTCs of Forms EC8As downloaded from INECs porter for Local Government Areas, as set out in the Subpoena.

However, while producing some of the documents before the Tribunal, one Salisu Aliyu a staff of INEC’s ICT unit from INEC’s Headquarters, who represented INEC Chairman, told the Tribunal that, they could not produce the BVAS machines and the complete record of the PVCs collected because, “they are bulky and they are need for other election matters”.

While the second representative of INEC’s Chairman, Festus Aisien, an Assistant Director in the Voters Registering Department from INEC Headquarters, who was to produce Selected Voter Register used for the Governorship election in Plateau State, told the Tribunal that, the materials were very bulky and on the advice of INEC’s Director Legal, only the first and last pages of the documents were certified, while the others are contained in a flash drive.

In his reaction to the Development, Counsel to the Petitioners, Prof. Olatoke (SAN), leading Pwajok (SAN) among other Senior Lawyers, told the Tribunal that, “What INEC produced is not what we asked for because we did not asked for E-copies. We demanded for CTCs and the witness said they certified the 1st and last pages. This is not the request in the subpoena.

“What we asked for is what all the parties in the petition can have and read. I pray the Tribunal to order that, apart from these two copies, the hard copies should be produced, as we have paid for the CTCs in compliance with the Law”.

“The advice of the Director Legal of INEC, cannot override the subpoena.

In its ruling on the matter, the Tribunal has ordered INEC’s Chairman and the CP Plateau State Command to comply and produce all the materials specified in the Tribunal, on or before Monday next week.

  1. Despite these short comings, the Petitioners’ Counsel was able to tender 65 CTCs of forms, EC8As. EC8A for Kwatas Primary school, polling unit 005 in Bokkos LGa.
  2. All the polling units of Bassa LGA and,
  3. EC8A for Kanam LGA.
  4. Two voters register for polling unit 001 of Baltep Ward, plling unit 017 of Sharubutu Ward in Riyom LGA, Data extracted from BVAS of 140 pages, 4 Receipts of payments and 2 cetrificates of compliance as produced by INEC, among others.

Documents tendered by Plateau State Commissioner of Police, as obtained from polling units through, ASP Okon Umores, the OC Legal Plateau State Command include, 37 copies of results from Jos-South LGA, 11 from Mangu LGA, 7 from Quaanpan LGA and 3 from Bassa LGA.

Others are: 2 copies from Mikang LGA, 4 Copies from Langtang North LGA, 1 copy from Shendam LGA, 9 copies from Jos-North LGA, 18 copies from Barkin-ladi LGA.

According to the Counsel to the Petitioners, the CP brought some results the Petitioners did not ask for.

However, the Police commissioner has requested for more time to enable him gather and produce other materials specified in the subpoena.

Before the Tribunal adjourned to 3pm, Tuesday, 27th June, 2023, the Petitioners’ Counsel Prof. Olatoke (SAN), adopted 2 Schedules of Documents, as a guide to tendering the Petitioners’ documents.

The High Lights of today’s sitting was the visit of the 2nd Respondent, Governor Caleb Mutfwang and the disorderliness that followed in the Court complex.  

No comments:

Post a Comment