Tuesday 18 July 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Petition filed by Fom Dalyop Chollom, challenging the election conducted by INEC for Riyom/Barkin-ladi Federal Constituency of Plateau State on the 25th of February, 2023, has entered Counsel Final Written Address Stage.

You would recall that, the Petition is also challenging the winner of the election, Hon. Peter Gyanden, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as declared by INEC.

Before this stage, the 3rd Respondent in the Petition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), called Three (3) witnesses. One was called earlier, while the rest two (2) were called yesterday by Subpoena to close its case.

The 2 witnesses subpoenaed were the Registrars of the Federal High Court (FHC) and the Court of Appeal (CoA) Jos Divisions respectively, to produce documents.

The Certified-True-Copies (CTCs) of the documents produced and tendered from the CoA and FHC include:

  1. Appellant brief of Augustine Timkuk.
  2. 2nd Respondent’s brief of argument.
  3.  Notice of Appeal dated 3rd November, 2022.
  4. Judgment of the FHC in suit No: FHC/J.CS/64/2022
  5. The originating Summons filed in the suit dated 1st June, 2022.
  6. 2nd Defendant’s Counter Affidavit to the Originating Summons filed on 3rd June, 2022.
  7. Further Affidavit in support of the Originating Summons.

Although the Petitioners’ Counsel, E. G. Pwajok (SAN) had indicated Objection, the Tribunal has admitted the documents in evidence.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, in the course of its defense, the 3rd Respondent, PDP, had called its first witness, Mr. Pankshak Elijah Dakyen (Esq), a Legal Practitioner and a politician, who told the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the capital of Plateau state that, the Report of the 25th September, 2021, Repeated State Congress, does not have the scores of other contestants except for the summary of results.

Under Cross-examination by the Petitioners Counsel, Edward Pwajok (SAN), Mr. Panshak informed the Tribunal that, he won and his score is indicated in the report, but he cannot see that of his fellow contestant(s). Adding that, he is not the maker of the document.

Panshak (Esq), who was made to identify, the PDP’s Constitution and Guidelines for the party’s primary elections, also told the Tribunal that, the letter signed by one Yakubu Chocho, the party’s Organizing Secretary, was done in May, 2022.

When shown his statement that he made, specifically paragraph 7g, Panshak told the Tribunal that, there was full compliance to the Judgment of Court.

Adding that, “Supervening Judgments have made rubbish of all the itemized issues in the Petition”.

When further shown the front page of the Court of Appeal’s decision, dated 28th October, 2022, Panshak told the Tribunal that, as at October, 2022, the 3rd Respondent (PDP) had already complied with the order of Court.

However, when referred to the Judgment of the Court of Appeal (COA), dated 6th May, 2022 at page 47 and asked to read it, the CoA stated in the Judgment that, “A disbanded leadership of the party cannot run the business of the party in view of the Judgment of the State High Court.

Panshak (Esq) also added that, “The Court of Appeal ratified our position and the case referred to is the Local Government (LG) elections on the Plateau. PDP appealed against the Judgment of the CoA to the Supreme Court.

“The Appeal was dismissed in Chambers, as it was listed as a Pre-election case, while the case is about the “Exclusion of PDP from participating in the Local Government elections here on the Plateau.

“The Supreme Court did not set aside the Judgment of the CoA, but they said that the Local Government matter, as a matter of policy, ends at the state”.

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