Friday 14 July 2023


By; Valentine Adese (JP),

The National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital has been informed that, the alleged Repeated State Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not have held, owing to a Court Injunction served on the Electoral Committee organizing it.

Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Go’ar, a former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly and a former member of the Green Chambers, revealed this when he was subpoenaed to come and give evidence in Petition No: EPT/PL/SEN/02/2023, filed by Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, who is challenging the victory of Sen. Napoleon Bali and the conduct of the senatorial election for Plateau Southern Senatorial District of Plateau State by INEC.

Although there was a strong objection from the Respondents on the witness’ competence to testify, owing to his witness statement on Oath, Rt. Hon. Go’ar, under Examination-in-Chief, led by Edward Pwajok (SAN), told the Tribunal that, he was at the Tribunal owing to the Subpoena, dated 10th July, 2023 that was served on him.

In part he said, “My name is Emmanuel Go’ar, I live in Rayfield in Jos South LGA of Plateau State. I am a retired Civil Servant. I am in the Tribunal because, I am subpoenaed to appear. I have the Subpoena here with me. I made a statement on Oath on the 12th of July, 2023 and I can identify it via my signature.

“When I got the Subpoena, I took it to my Lawyer, who advised me to put my testimony into writing. He drafted it and read it to me and we came together to sign the statement in this Tribunal.

“I was asked to produce some documents and I have them here. These are letters from the National Headquarters of the PDP, appointing me as member and Publicity Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of its chapter in Plateau State, dated 10th June, 2021 and 19th August, 2021 respectively, PDP’s Constitution 2017 (as amended) and the Guidelines for Wards, Zonal and State Congresses of the PDP.

Under Cross-examination by the Respondents in the Petition, Go’ar further told the Tribunal that, he knows that, APC and the PDP are registered political parties and that, it is the National Chairman or Secretary of the PDP are the only eligible ones to submit the names of candidates of the party to INEC.

Adding that, “But, this is subject to the grounds that, the candidate(s) fulfills the requirements of the PDP.  Secondly, I am never aware that Napoleon Bali is the candidates of the PDP.

“In my statement, I clearly stated when I seized to be a member of the PDP and this was in July, 2022. Since then, I don’t know anything going on in the chapter.

“I am aware that, the Federal High Court (FHC), Jos Division in suit No: FHC/J/CS/64/2022 had confirmed that, the PDP in Plateau State held its state congress in 2021 in the case of Augustine Timkuk. However, this is not the judgment of the suit. The Court dismissed the suit because of the Preliminary Objection (PO) raised by the PDP.

“I agree with you that, the issues of Primary and sponsorship are events that take place well ahead of the general elections, after which qualified candidates names are submitted to INEC and INEC in turn publishes the names. In the instant case, the name of Napoleon is 28th of the list published. It was published on Monday, 19th September, 2022, months ahead of the general elections.

“I don’t know, if Lalong or the APC challenged the list and the emergence of Napoleon. I have repeatedly stated that, you must be a participant in the primary for you to challenge it and I cannot be very where”.

When shown the judgments of the Court of Appeal (COA) on Timkuk against PDP, Go’ar told the Tribunal that, “The Court of Appeal affirmed the Judgment of the Lower trial Court and the Judgment was not based on the merit of the suit, but on the Preliminary Objection (PO) raised by the PDP.

“I was still in PDP during the congress at Langfield and I was in attendance. What I have here is INEC’s report of that congress. I had to leave the venue when a Court Injunction was served. It was not served on me personally, but on the Electoral Committee.

“I have read these Judgments and they are not only related to Plateau State Local Government elections alone. If it is, why did it have to affect Musa Agah?

“I will be surprised to know that, the issue of primary election is an internal affair of the parties, but if your lords say so, who am I to say no!

“I know the 1st Petitioner, he was the Governor of Plateau State. I know him from afar. I also never came across the Petition hence I will not know the subject of the Petition because I am not privy to it.

“All the documents I brought here today, I don’t know if they correlate with the Petition or not. I made reference to INEC’s report on the alleged congress, but I did not fault it”.


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