Thursday 13 July 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Legal Adviser to the Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Binchen Jantur (Esq) has technically distanced himself from the now public report of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concerning the Congress of the party, dated 25th September, 2021 and tagged: REPORT OF THE REPEATED CONGRESS OF THE PDP IN PLATEAU STATE.


Under Cross-examination from the Counsel of the Petitioners, Edward Pwajok (SAN) in Petition No: EPT/PL/HR/04/2023, filed by Hon. Bulus Vincent Venman, who is challenging the election conducted by INEC for Langtang North and South Federal Constituency of Plateau State on the 25th of February, 2023, and also challenging the winner of the election, Hon. Beni Lar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as declared by INEC, the Legal Adviser said he cannot confirm if the report of INEC is complete as he was not the  maker.

He also acknowledged the letter written by Hon. Gwott Yakubu Chocho, concerning the said Ward Congress.

He said, “I can recognize the letter because, it was written by the Organizing Secretary, Hon. Yakubu Chocho.

However, before his Cross-examination by the Petitioners’ Counsel, Edward Pwajok (SAN), Binchen (Esq) had told the Tribunal that, the INEC report was comprehensive, as it concerns the PDP’s Repeated Congress.

Under Examination in Chief, Binchen (Esq) to the Tribunal that, “I am the Plateau State Legal Adviser to the PDP. I live at No: 20/22 Yakubu Gowon Way, Jos, Plateau State. I am a Legal Practitioner. I made my statement on Oath on the 25th of April, 2023 and I can identify same through my name and signature.

“At paragraph 9(f), I made reference to certain documents, which are exhibits 3R1-3R4. These are the documents. They include the Originating Summons of Mr. Augustine Timkuk, the Affidavit of the Defendant’s Counsel, the Judgment of the Federal High Court Jos Division and the Judgment of the Court of Appeal (COA) Jos Division”.

Under Cross-examination by the Counsel to the 1st Respondent, INEC, Binchen (Esq), told the Tribunal that, he has read and gone through the Petition and that, one of among the allegations in the Petition is that, the 3rd Respondent, PDP, is not having a structure. But the chapter has a solid structure and the 3rd Respondent has complied with the order of Court in suit No: PLD/J304/2020.

“To comply, the 3rd Respondent has conducted a Repeated State Congress on the 25th of September, 2021, which was duly monitored by INEC. I got to know of this because I was an Aspirant in the congress and I was duly elected and it had a national coverage. I won as the Legal Adviser of the 3rd Respondent”. Binchen stated.

As the report was sort to be tendered, Binchen, told the Tribunal that, “I stated in my statement that, INEC monitored the Congress and also made a report on it. It was a comprehensive report of the Repeated Congress of the PDP in Plateau State.

“The 2nd Respondent is a member of the PDP very well! She is representing her Constituency for the 5th time.

“The PDP is the greatest political party in Africa. In the election of 25th February, 2023, PDP nominated her and sponsored here.

“After PDP submitted her name to INEC as its candidate, the name was published by INEC among other names for the contest.  After the list was published, nobody challenged it or Hon. Beni Lar for being a candidate until the APC has lost to the party.

“Before her nomination, the NWC of the party organized the election for a 3-man adhoc in Wards. After this, the NWC organized a primary election where the 3 adhoc delegates nominated, Hon. Beni Lar, to be sponsored by the party. Neither the APC, nor its candidate challenged the primary result.

“You are therefore correct to say that, the processes were conducted by the NWC.

“Exhibit 1R1, is the Comprehensive Report of INEC. Even the Petitioner participated and congratulated Beni Lar especially, Hon. Bitrus Kaze and Emmanuel Macham and to date, nobody has challenged the outcome of the Repeated State Congress.

“APC are the ones complaining that, some delegates were excluded, but the delegates are in categories and they are: Presidents and former Presidents and their Deputies, serving and former members, who are still in the party, the 3-adhoc delegates from the Wards and 18 Ward EXCOs of the party in the state, who came from LGAs to participate.

“APC is making heavy weather over people that did not participate. Some people were excluded, owing to the directive of the NWC. They are 18 and they belong to a class of delegate. They were asked to state aside.

“However, none of the 18 went to Court to seek redress over the Repeated Congress to date.

On his part, the Petitioners’ Counsel, Edward Pwajok (SAN) began by tendering the Constitution of the PDP and their Guidelines (as amended), a letter from Hon. Gwott Yakubu Chocho, the State Organizing Secretary of the PDP, signed on the 29th of April, 2022 and added that, “In paragraph 14 of the Petition, we gave the 1st Respondent INEC, Notice to produce the Original letter because, we only have the photocopy and this was objected to by the Respondents’ Counsels because it is a photocopy.

Pwajok (SAN) then asked Binche (Esq), “if you see exhibit 1R1 and page 8 of the report of INEC especially, the Signature Page, if you compare the page and the Report of INEC, those who signed were not appointed to monitor, right?

Binchen (Esq) answered this and many other questions in part below:-

“I am not the maker of the document. Even the REC was not appointed to sign.

“I will not confirm that, it is not a complete report.

“Yes, the report does not have the number of accredited delegates for the congress.

“On the top of the document, it states, “See attached list”, but I will not know, if a list is attached. INEC authored it!

“From the document, the congress held at Langfield Resort in Little Rayfield Jos. This is a complete document from INEC because they authored it!

“In any case, there are supervening Judgments that made nonsense of the issues.

“I told the Tribunal that, there are 207 Wards. I said the NWC of the party conducted the elections of the 3-Adhoc in Septembers.

“This is documentary, as the NWC wrote the State Police.  But, I am not aware if the NWC wrote the Party in the state.

“I can’t remember their numbers, but they were appointed on 21st September, 2021 and it was on that day that, the NWC communicated the State Police. I will therefore be surprised that the State Working Committee were the ones that nominated Committees to organize the Ward Congresses.

“The letter in question was written by Hon. Yakubu Chocho, informing all members of the Committees. I recognize the letter because Hon. Yakubu was the State Organizing Secretary”.

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