Sunday 25 June 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The hearing of the Petition continued with the Examination-in-Chief and Cross-Examination of Sen. Simon Mwadkwon’s witness, Panshak Elisha Dagyen (Esq), who told the Tribunal that, some of those, who signed the Peoples Democratic Party’s 2022 State Congress Report, were not among the names listed to monitor the exercise.

Panshak (Esq), under Cross-examination of the Counsel to the 4th and 5th Respondents, M. S. Salihu (Esq), told the Tribunal that, one Mary Joseph, Samuel Abba, the Plateau State INEC REC, and one Useni Haliru Pai were not having their names on the list of those that are mentioned to monitor the State Congress and yet, they signed.

He however, added that, “INEC is the author of the Report and I rely on the said document that, PDP organized the repeated Congress. The report translated exactly what happened at the Congress to the best of my knowledge. However, the document is not authored by me so, I don’t know if it is a complete Report”.

When he was asked, if the 17 Local Government EXCOs participated in the State Congress after showing him the Exhibit 2R2, which is in page 2 of the Report, Panshak told the Tribunal that, “12 local Governments were excluded from the state congress owing to legal issues. But in their place, adhoc delegates voted”.

Adding that, “This was upon Legal Advice”.

Under cross-examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, Panshak, had told the Court that he is a legal Practitioner and the State Assistant Legal Adviser of the PDP.

Panshak also told the Tribunal that in his statement on Oath before the Tribunal, he had made reference to Judgments, from the Federal High Court (FHC) Jos Division and the Court of Appeal, Jos Division respectively. Adding that, “Apart from these two Supervening cases, there are no other supervening decisions and I have read them”.

When, it was put to him, by the Counsel to the Petitioners, J. A, Adoku that, in the decision of the FHC, the Court declined for lack of Jurisdiction; Panshak Esq told the Tribunal that it is not true, but that, “the case  was not solely dismissed for lack of Jurisdiction, it was also determined on its merit”.

Adding that, “That very case was appealed against and the Court of Appeal affirmed that decision of the FHC for lack of Jurisdiction partially”.

When shown exhibit 2R16, which is the PDP Constitution and the Guideline  for the conduct of the party congresses at the Ward, Local Government and State dated 2020, the witness, Panshak Esq, identified them and told the Tribunal that, Prince Olushola Acomode supervised the State Congress, while INEC monitored.

Adding that, “there are list of those to monitor the exercise and they are 9 persons.

When asked, if all the 9 persons signed, he said, “Yes, all the persons at the end of the Congress signed at the last page”.

Earlier, while opening and closing Defense for the 2nd Respondent in the Petition, its Counsel, P. A. Akubo (SAN), tendered 16 CTCs to closed from the Bar and were admitted by the Tribunal.

However, it was not without an objection from the Petitioners.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, Amb. Chris Giwa has closed his case in Petition No: EPT/PL/SEN/01/2023, just few hours after opening it at the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Jos.

The petition No: EPT/PL/SEN/01/2023 is challenging the conduct and victory of INEC and Sen. Simon Mwadkwon respectively in the 25th February National Assembly election for Plateau North Senatorial District.

To open and close his case, Amb. Giwa’s Counsel, I. H. Magaji (SAN), tendered through the Bar, volumes of INEC’s Certified True Copies (CTCs) of document, which were brought in bags and called only two (2) witnesses.

The witnesses were, one Sanni Paul Zaruma, who is a Legal Practitioner and a member of the APC Legal Team and a Statistician, Mr. Gabriel Pam Dagyet, who doubles as a staff of University of Jos and a Consultant.

REALITY gathered that, Amb. Giwa’s opening and closing of his case in few hours, may have hit the Respondents with confusion, as they sort to revert back to their clients to discuss the best way forward.

They had also told the Tribunal that, they might not categorically state the number of witnesses they would be calling until, after the meeting/consultations with their various clients.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, the Statistician, Mr. Dagyet in his evidence before the Tribunal, had told the Tribunal that, out of the 2255 polling units’ documents he inspected, 1043 forms EC8A1 series were already mutilated.

Adding that, “Amb. Chris Giwa has the highest lawful votes scored in the election, with 3400 as Margin of Lead and so, should be declared the winner”.

The matter has been adjourned to the 6th of July.


No comments:

Post a Comment