Tuesday 15 August 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has 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 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, Hwellen Yohanna Dung Nyang, and Geowam Joshua Dakogol, 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”.

When confronted with Exhibit ‘U’, which is the Report of the alleged Repeated State Congress of the PDP, dated 25th September, 2021, he said, “this is not my document. It is my statement that is my document.”, which admitting that, exhibit 2RB6 has blank entries in items 4, 7, 15, 17, 21, 45, 76, 71, 91, 95 and 201.

When also confronted with Judgments of the Tribunal and Court of Appeal’s Judgment, dated 28th October, 2022, which has PDP and Hon. Musa Avia Agah vs Mohammad Adamu Alkali as parties, the witness, Mr. Dang said, “I know Agah, but I am not aware of the annulment of his electoral victory”.

To test his statement further, Mathew (SAN), asked if he stands on his statement that BVAS was used across the PUs in Naraguta B, which he claimed in his statement as he showed him Exhibit C44-C50.

Mr. Dang told the Tribunal that, “10 PUs entries of the BVAS report were blank”.

For Yohanna, who said he was the Collation Agent of the PDP in Jos North Local Government, told the Tribunal in part that, BVAS were used and results were entered in form EC8As and announced publicly after the PU results were collated at the Center into form EC8B before they were entered into forms EC8C and that, from the results, there is no need for a fresh election.

He further told the Tribunal that, 14 BVAS just disappeared as he stated and that he stands by his paragraph 5 of his statement on oath, while saying that, the Electoral Officer, Mr. Patrick G. P, did not participate or interfere with the collation.

However, under cross examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, Yohanna told the Tribunal that, in C47, the place for accredited voters in A. A. Adams and Sani Santy in Angwan Rogo were blank in 2 of the 3.

In part he said, “I said that, in Naraguta B, code 10, the Electoral Officer disappeared. But I stated that, Election held and the BVAS were used”.

Adding that, “In 2021, I contested election for the Chairman Jos North LGC. My party and all other contestants, including me were disqualified from participating by PlASIEC, on the bases that our party is in disobedience of Court Order. My part challenged the disqualification from the High Court, to the Court of Appeal then the Supreme Court. However, it is not true that we lost.

“I have not seen the Judgment of the Supreme Court.

“I was the DG of Musa Agah Avia for the Jos North/Bassa bye-election, but I was not part of the Court Processes.

On the part of Mr. Dakogol, he told the Tribunal in part under Cross examination by Counsel to the 3rd Respondent, Emeka Etiba (SAN) that, “I don’t know anything about Ward, Local Government or state EXCOs of the PDP. I did not take part in the party nominations and I am not aware of the happenings in other Polling Units (PUs), for me to work on election day, the Ward Collation Agent of the PDP, gave me my tag. I cannot recognize BVAS’ Machine reports because I did not handle it or use it. Exhibit 2Rd5 is the result of my Polling Unit. I voted there and PDP won.

Also under cross-examination by the Counsel to the Petitioners, Mathew (SAN), Mr. Dakogol in part told the Tribunal that, “I don’t know anything about nomination in my party concerning candidates of EXCOs of the party. By my answer, I know of the Governorship Candidate of Caleb Mutfwang, but I don’t know the process of the party’s Congress.

“I don’t know if a Congress ever held, as a member of the party. I never heard it on the radio of PDP having a Congress. I have being a member since 1999”.



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