Thursday 28 September 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Senator Represent Plateau Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Sen. Diket Plang has confirmed to the National/State Houses of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Jos, the state capital that there were two INEC Returning Officers that collated the result of his election.

Under Examination-in-Chief led by the Counsel to the 2nd Respondent, A. J. Yirvoms (Esq), Sen. Diket confirmed the Court Judgments from the State and Federal High Courts including the Court of Appeal he made reference to in his statement that have already been tendered before the Tribunal, after adopting his statement on oath, dated 3rd June, 2023.

Sen. Diket, under cross examination by the Counsel to INEC (the 1st Respondent to the Petition), told the Tribunal that, he voted at Ngolong Tallkas, his Polling Unit (PU), after his accreditation by the INEC officer using the BVAS machine, like they did to other voters alike.

Still under cross examination by the 1st Respondent, Sen. Diket told the Tribunal that it is true that, exhibits 3R series are Judgments from various courts and that it is true that the PDP has no valid structure in Plateau State hence, the party cannot sponsor any candidate in any election and that is why the PDP does not have a candidate in the Plateau Central Senatorial election conducted by INEC on the 25th of February, 2023.

He said at the end of the election he was declared winner, after the collation of results and returned, having scored the highest votes in the election.

In apart he said, “It is also true that Prof. Daniel Dabi never concluded the election of Plateau Central District. It also true that Prof. Daniel Davou Dabi having not concluded the collation, he did not declare a winner for the election. It is also true that it was Dr. Jimam Lar that concluded the collation”.

Under cross examination from Counsel to the 2nd Respondent, S. S. Obende (Esq), Sen. Diket further told the Tribunal that, “I can confirm that Prof. Dabi did not make recourse to the IRev of INEC before he suspended Collation of result. It is also true that he suspended the collation in order for him to verify the 34 Polling Units (PUs) in Gagdi.

“The purpose of his verification was to enable him determine the collation of result in Gagdi Ward in Kanam LGA.

“He never returned to the collation based on the verification of the result in the polling units in Gagdi Ward.

“Dr. Jimam Lar, acted on the bases of the verified results from the 34 Polling Units t conclude the collation. It was after the collation that I was declared and returned.

“Nobody, including Dr. Lar ever concelled the results in Gagdi Ward.

“I represent Pankshin South and it falls within my constituency. The results in the series is the Pankshin South State Constituency”.

However, Under cross examination from Counsel to the Petitioners (Amb. G. Y. Gotom and the All Progressives Congress), Sen, Diket told the Tribunal that he was not a member of the PDP and that its constitution does not bind him.

In part he said, “I did not contest for election under the PDP from 2019 to 2023.

“I stated in my paragraph 7 on page 44 that the Plateau Central election was suspended. I also know that the results declared were correct. But, I denied the averment that the election was ever declared inconclusive but suspended.

“I can confirm that the election was delayed because of the results from Gagdi Ward.

“On 25th, I did not collate any result for INEC. I can confirm that Prof. Dabi as at 25th was the Collation Officer. I have told the Tribunal that one Dr. Jimam Lar was also a returning officer of the election.

“From my narration, Prof. Dabi commenced the collation, but Dr. Lar declared the result. I can confirm that Dr. Lar returned me after he had concluded collation. Collation was suspended initially, but Dr. Law continued and concluded.

“There is nothing in this Tribunal to show whether Prof. Dabi was removed or that he resigned. But, that is for INEC to answer”.

You would recall that, REALITY had reported that, the petitioners had called 5 key witnesses to prove their  petition and among them were, Prof. Daniel Davou Debi, Mr. Takbal Nunfa and Mr. Bawa Bashir, who adopted their statements made on Oath on the 5th of May, 2023, after making some corrections, which were objected to by Counsels to the Respondents.

After Examination-in-Chief, led by Counsel to the Petitioners, Prof. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Prof. Daniel during Cross Examination by Counsels to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents, told the National/State Houses of Assembly Petitions Tribunal that, he was an Adhoc staff of INEC during the election and that his job ends immediately he submitted his report on the election.

He said he cancelled 34 Polling Unit results from Kanam Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State and declared the election in Kanam LGA, “Inconclusive”.

He said he was the only person that cancelled the results and not the officers at the Polling Units (PUs) nor the Ward and Local Government levels.

He also told the Tribunal that, it is his responsibility to check, verify and authenticate results during the election as INEC’s Returning Officer.

He further disclosed that, he did not fill form EC40g because it was no made available to him.

He said, “In paragraph 4 of my statement on oath, I stated that, collation of results of 4 LGAs, Mangu, Pankshin, Bokkos and Kanke, which I personally collated, were done without difficulty and I stated clearly in my paragraph 6 that, APC the 3rd Respondent, scored, 125, 483 votes, while PDP scored 124, 810 votes and at this time, I was in charge. I did not write cancelled on my statement, but I wrote rejected.

“I was not at the Polling Units whose results I cancelled because I am not a PU agent or staff. However, these results were not cancelled at their various PUs. These same results were not cancelled at the Wards and LG level of Kanam LGA.

“The results were cancelled by me the Returning Officer, as a responsibility”.

Mr. Takbal Nunfa and Mr. Bawa Bashir were polling unit agents of the PDP and they were also cross examined.

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