Thursday 10 August 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, Plateau State has adjourned Petition No: EPT/PL/SEN/02/2023, filed by the former governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong, challenging the conduct of the Senatorial election for Plateau South Senatorial District and the declared victory of Sen. Napoleon to the 21st of August, 2023 for adoption of Counsels’ Final Written Addresses.

Before adjourning the hearing of the Petition, the 3rd Respondent in the Petition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), called its second and last witness, 3R2, Mr. Sylvester G. Selcham.

The witness under examination-in-chief and cross-examination by the 1st and 2nd Respondents (INEC & Sen. Napoleon) in the Petition, told the Tribunal that, he lives in Langtang North and that he is a business man and a politician, while adopting his written statement under oath, dated the 25th of April, 2023, he also identified exhibits 1R2 and 1R3.

He told the Tribunal that, he voted on the 25th of February, 2023, after been accredited with the BVAS Machine in his Polling Unit (PU). He emphasized that the BVAS Machine was used for all who voted.

He also said, “No figure representing over-voting was collated by the INEC Officer” adding that, the tables in his paragraphs 16 and 18 of his statement, is to show that the petitioners were wrong in their pleadings of over voting.

He said, “INEC Officer told us that, some Units had recorded over voting, but figures that were affected by over-voting during collation, were told were not recorded in the results collated and they therefore do not form part of the results collated.

“On the 25th of February, 2023, three elections were held. They are the Presidential, the Senatorial and that for the House of Representatives and each of the election had distinct process.

“1R2 is the official collation of Plateau South Senatorial Result and the agents of APC, PDP and LP signed. The agent who signed for PDP is me.

“It is INEC’s duty to distribute PVCs and I can confirm that the duty was performed excellently and members of political parties were not involved.

“As a collation agent, it is true that, political parties had their agents across the PUs in Southern Senatorial District. The agents of the Petitioners were also there as their eyes too and they experienced what transpired in the PUs.

“It is the duty of PU agents to sign result sheets.

“The votes by which the 2nd Respondent won the election does not include unlawful votes and the Petitioners lost the election by 57, 170 votes and this also, the Petitioners agents never protested”.

However, the witness, Mr. Sylvester’s Evidence Music changed during cross-examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, E. G. Pwajok (SAN) who led S. S. Obende (Esq) and other Senior Lawyers.

Mr. Selcham, told the Tribunal that, the figures he wrote in his statement are different from the figures in the result of PU 009, which is his Polling Unit when asked to compare page 47 of his witness statement with the PU result 82(4). He also added that the 174 he gave to PDP was not correct.

He said, “I agree that over-voting is when the vote cast exceeds accredited voters.

“I can confirm that, there are no cancelations on P82(4), but in P23d, there are and they are the same result for PU 009.

“On P40, the total votes cast is 243, while the accredited voters were 242 and valid votes is 243. This is over-voting.

“I am a member of PDP and I am bound by the Constitution of the party, P75.

“I can confirm that Article 33 regulates the PDP Conventions and Congresses.

“One national delegate is elected at Local Government (LG) Congress, to represent the party and LG at the National Convention.

“I don’t know how Sen. Napoleon, who is representing me was elected.

“From P77 Malam Husseni Halidu is not designated to sign by the provisions of page 7.

“Throughout P77, there is no list of delegates from the Wards. But, I don’t know this document P77.

“2R1 tendered by the PDP also does not have delegate list from the Wards and both P77 and 1R1, do not contain 3 Adhoc delegates from the Wards.

“But, if these exhibits do not contain the list of delegates, it is the party that will answer.

“I said the Margin of Lead is 57,170 and does not contain canceled results. But, when comparing my statement on page 21 and p21A, serial 25, Phalam has over voting. the votes cast is 150, the accredited voters were 143. This is over voting.

“On serial 29, the vote cast is 301 and the accredited voters were 300.

“In serial 30, the vote cast is 249 and the accredited was 248.

“All these will not affect my stated Margin of Lead. But, I agree that, where ever there is over voting, it should be canceled”.


No comments:

Post a Comment