Tuesday 19 September 2023


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

The Petition filed by Amb. G. Y. Gotom and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the victory of Sen. Diket Plang and the All Progressives Congress (APC), over the Plateau Central Senatorial District election has entered full hearing with 3 witnesses already called today by the Petitioners.

The witnesses, Prof. Daniel Davou Debi, Mr. Takbal Nunfa and Mr. Bawa Bashir, all 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.

While fielding answers to questions from Journalists after the session, the Counsel to the Petitioners, Prof. Ozekhome (SAN), expressed confidence in the evidence given by the witnesses so far called.

He still questioned why there are two returning officers in one election.

The matter has been adjourned to tomorrow for continuation of hearing.


No comments:

Post a Comment