Wednesday 16 August 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Counsels, to the Governorship candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC) Plateau State, Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, led by Y. H. Ruba (SAN) have raised alarm at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital that, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not only trying to surprise them as Petitioners with a sudden intention to play a video clip to the Tribunal, but to ambush them.

The lead Counsel of the Petitioners, Ruba (SAN), called on the Tribunal Panel to protect them as Petitioners, while stating that, the item (Video) which is contained in a 2nd Schedule of Documents tendered today by the 3rd Respondent’s Counsel, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), “Was never pleaded, front loaded or served on the Petitioners”.

On this ground, the Tribunal has adjourned the matter to tomorrow 10am for continuation of defence by the PDP.

However, before adjourning, the Tribunal had ordered the 3rd Respondent to do the needful by making the item available for the Petitioners to assist them in cross examination, if need be.

From the proceedings today, the PDP has withdrawn its 1st Schedule of Documents tendered earlier and the Tribunal has struck out same.

Earlier, Governor Caleb (Esq), who is the 2nd Respondent to the Petition, had closed his case, relying on the evidence elicited from the three witnesses he called yesterday.

Closing Governor Caleb’s case on his behalf, his led Counsel, P. A. Akubo (SAN), in part, told the Tribunal that, “The matter is slated for continuation of defence of the 2nd Respondent.  But, we bring the Tribunal good news today that, as part of our strategic plan, we have analyzed the evidence of the 47 witnesses of the Petitioners and have concluded that, 3 witnesses are enough to close our case and we have come to the conclusion to do so”.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State had opened his defence in Petition No: EPT/PL/GOV/03/2023, filed by Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

You would also recall that, REALITY had reported that, Dr. Nentawe and the APC are challenging the victory of Governor Caleb in the election conducted by INEC on the 18th of March, 2023.

To start his defence, the lead Counsel to Governor Caleb, P. A. Akubo (SAN) leading other Lawyers, had called three (3) witnesses, who under examination in chief, adopted their written statements under oath, dated 6th May, 2023 and had identify the exhibits before the Tribunal, which they made references to in their respective depositions.

Dang Choji, Hwelleng Yohanna Dung Nyang, and Geowam Joshua Dakogol, the witnesses of Governor Caleb had told the Tribunal that, the governorship election was perfectly and properly conducted by INEC and its staff and that, across the Polling Units (PUs) they covered, the election was held peacefully.

They all also told the Tribunal that, BVAS were used in the election alongside, the Votes Register (VR) in accrediting voters in their Polling Units (PU) and other PUs during their Cross examination by the 1st and 2nd Respondents to the Petition respectively.

However, under cross examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, Mathew Bukar (SAN), who was earlier led by E. G. Pwajok (SAN), the first witness Dang Choji (2RW1), told the Tribunal that, when polling unit officers run away with results, it does not mean the election is not credible. And that when he said INEC officers did their job credibly, he was not lying in his statement.

He said, “I know that election held and results were properly entered”.

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