Sunday 16 July 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Governorship and the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal Panels sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, have gained an impressive progress considering the huge number of Petitions before them.

The Panels have also given priority to the Governorship and National Assembly election Petitions, considering the time the elections took place.

There are three (3) Election Petitions Tribunal Panels currently sitting in Jos and within the Main Complex of the Plateau State High Court. This REALITY gathered is for administrative reasons and the ease of Counsel’s movement from one Panel to another.

As it stands today, several Petitions that arose out of the National Assembly elections that were conducted by INEC on the 25th of February, 2023, have entered their Final Written Address stages.

Topping the list are Petitions No: EPT/PL/HR/08/2023 and EPT/PL/SEN/01/2023, filed by Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, former Deputy Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly and that filed by, Amb. Chris Giwa and their political party (the All Progressives Congress (APC), which have entered their Final Written Address stages, respectively.

While the Petition filed by, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan is challenging the election won by Hon. Musa Agah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the qualification of the Peoples Redemption Party’s candidate, Hon. Adamu Alkali  for the House of Representatives for Jos-North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State, Amb. Chris Giwa is challenging Sen. Simon Mwadkon for the senatorial election for Plateau North Senatorial District.

On the other hand in respected of the Governorship Petition No: EPT/PL/GOV/03/2023, filed by Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, challenging the declared victory of Barr Caleb Mutfwang and the PDP at the polls, there are high indications that, with the Petitioners closing their case in the Petition last week, 1st Respondent, INEC, may open its case on Monday.

The APC gubernatorial candidate in the 18th March, 2023 governorship election, Dr. Nentawe has called over 48 witnesses, subpoenaed members of the PDP to testify on his behave, subpoenaed the Police and INEC National Chairman to produce documents before closing their case.

Also, there are high expectations that, the Respondents may also open their cases in Petition No: EPT/PL/SEN/02/2023 filed by the former Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, as he makes moves to round up his case early next week.

In the proceedings of the case so far, Lalong has tendered huge CTCs of INEC documents from the Bar and through witnesses, who were subpoenaed to produce and testify in the Petition, which also includes a Star witness.

From the intention made known to the Tribunal’s Panel hearing the Petition, Lalong may call other 10 witnesses from Polling Units (PUs) to testify on the Forms EC8As already tendered.

In all the Tribunal Panels, the APC and its candidates are trying to establish their claim that, the PDP does not exist in Plateau State because it allegedly does not have a political structure through which candidates can emerge to contest in a general election.

They have tendered Court Judgments from the State, Federal High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria to support their claims. The witnesses called also cut across the 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The latest is the production and tendering of Court Interim Injunction stopping the PDP’s Repeated State Congress, which was covered in a report published by INEC.

The APC however, took a long journey in their case as they try to reduce the Margin of Lead by tendering PU results they are contesting and calling PU, Ward and LGA  Agents, to testify on its behave.

In all, INEC, PDP and its candidates, have also tendered huge CTCs of INEC documents from the Bar and have also called witnesses to support their opposition to the Petitions across the three panels.


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