Plateau Governorship Tribunal to expunged irrelevant Documents.
Following the Arguments and objections by the Learned Counsel to the Petitioners at the Governorship tribunal Edward Pwajok SAN on some exhibits sought to be tendered by the third respondents that’s Peoples Democratic party (PDP).
Pwajok told the tribunal that they are objecting the admissibility of the documents base on the following reasons.
That they have not seen the documents and for fair hearing,they need to see it, particularly item 16 which is the video clip they intend to play was not pleaded in their schedules of documents.
The Learned Counsel to the third respondents is putting the cat before the horse.
Etiaba responded and told the court they are the last to present their case and it is on record the Petitioners did not serve any of the respondents.
The Court assured them of expunging documents that did not meet the requirements of Law.
The Only witness that was brought before the Court to testify for PDP, told the Court that his name is Theophilus Dakkas Shan,I’m a farmer,Trader, a politician and currently the the vice Chairman of PDP, North Central.
Said he deposited his statement on oath on 2-5-2023.
Before I adopt, i want to apply and amend some typographical errors.
In paragraphs 1 and 2 is the omission of the word National before Vice Chairman.
Also in Paragraph 28,line 3, the word disqualification be replaced with exclusion .
In line 33 the correct suit no should be Appeal no CA/J/196/2021.
The witness also mention paragraphs 36,37,39,40,to 41 should be corrected as SC/CV1341/2022.
Edward Pwajok SAN opposed to the amendment sought to be made .
What they are about to do at this stage is a surgical operation for instance, the amendment of word disqualification to replaced with exclusion is not a correction but an amendment and issues have been joined already but we reserve our objections to the final address.
The witness was led for examination in chief by Emeka Etiaba SAN.
You refers to paragraph 21 of your deposition that some candidates Congratulated the winners at the end of the Congress including Bitrus Kaze, Yes.
The Video clip of 2 minutes and 54 seconds of Hon. Bitrus Kaze who was one of the Aspirants made the follow statement.
“I stand here for myself,I know today they will record Bitrus Kaze even on Satellites, because when I speak my words,I mean exactly what I say when it was time for screening and I got a message from the party secretariat that my original forms were missing.
I contemplated should I go or should I not,but I took the decision in my heart and I’m speaking for myself that if I go to the Congress, whatever the outcome is, I will bound by it and so for me as a person,I have no difficulty to congratulate my brother for the success.
I’m prepared to continue with and commit myself for PDP, I know sir,let me take this opportunity to say this I know that when I go to radio or when I have the opportunity to appear in Channels and I whipped APC and it’s Government,everybody will tell me this is our man but when I have the opportunity to speak against the ills within the PDP,they said he is a betrayal,I’m used to both those words and I want to assure you of my commitment. They said when you whipped a child,you can’t stop him from crying.
I want to speak nothing but my heart. I have already committed myself for this party and I will continue to work for this party.”
S. Atung is the INEC Counsel who are the first respondents was the first to cross examine the Witness.
He was shown Exhibit IRB to confirmed that that is the first respondents publication of the list of governorship Candidates for Plateau state. Yes his name is serial number 27.
When asked whether he is familiar with the process of election said yes .
It started within the party. The general time table was drawn by the National Headquarters and a committee was constituted to nominate three adhoc delegates from all wards of Plateau state.
And is it true that the Congress was monitored by the first respondents as it is in exhibit 3RM which is the reports of ward and local governments congress conducted on 30-4-2022 and 10-5-2022 respectively.
Shan Further said after election of one national delegate per local government, then the party proceeded to conduct primary elections for nomination of candidates starting with the state Houses of Assembly which took place on 25-5-2022. Governorship and National Assembly subsequently followed.
The witness said to the best of his ability, nobody challenges the outcome of the Governorship Primaries particularly the contestants.
When asked if Bitrus Kaze is still a member of PDP,said he is not sure because he personally told him that he will support labour party at the presidential election but he don’t know of other elections.
When P.A Akubo took his turn of cross Examination.
You are aware that the national Headquarters is in charge of Congresses all over the wards,Local governments and states at the whole federation.
And your testimony that your party comply with the suit No PLD/J304/2020, Involving Bitrus Kaz,PDP and others. Yes.
And you still stand by your testimony on paragraphs 14,16,17,18,19,20,30,31,52,54 and 56 all these paragraphs shows the judgements in those suites were complied yes and the repeated congress of the 25-9-2021 was conducted in compliance of such Judgements.
You were also present yes I voted as delegate from Quan’Pan LGA and apart from myself, delegates from other wards and local governments.
Hon. Bitrus Kaze also participated,he was there , participated , accepted the outcome and congratulated the Chairman and hug him as you saw from the video.
The Learned Silk also shown Exhibit G1 to the witness which is report of the repeated congress of 25-9-2021 and asked whether Bitrus Kaze or any other Person have challenge the Congress and he responded no.
The Petitioners Counsel, Edward Pwajok SAN applied for exhibits G1 to G11,V,U,RAS,3RS and 3RQ and shown to the witness .
Particularly exhibit V which is the Constitution of PDP and refers him to article 2 and you will believe me that the Constitution is supreme to all organs of the 3rd respondents. That is correct,he responded.
You will also agree with me that any action or decision of any organ of the party that is inconsistent with the party Constitution is null and void, Yes.
But National Convention can amend any decision.
Go to page 7, specifically articles 2 and 3.
The Counsel also refers him to articles 15 E and F.
Your party’s address is 20/22 Yakubu Gowon Way. Yes and Your organizing Secretary is Gwott Yakubu Chocho the witness affirm it.
He gave a document to take a look at it and concentrate on the name and address. Yes but he was acting outside his mandate as the organizing Secretary.
He applies to tender the document,the first respondents didn’t object to it’s admissibility but left it to the discretion of the tribunal.
The second and third respondents objected to the admissibility according to them,it is a photocopy but reserved their objections to the final addresses.
A second document was shown to the witness to confirm his name and stamp on it.
Response,I have seen my name but for the first time.
The Petitioners applied to tender the document.
The INEC left it to the discretion of the court while the 2nd respondents objected it because the witness is seeing the document for the first time and the PDP said they should have being the custodian of such a document and we’re not ask to produce it. They both reserves their further objections to their final written addresses.
When ask to compare exhibits U and 2RAN .2RAN does not have annexious 1 and 2 yes it does not have.And that’s the major difference.
Confirm to the court that they don’t both have the list of delegates . Yes they don’t have.
Question,the video on exhibit 3RS did not show the delegates that voted at the Congress. Yes because it was not directed at the delegates,it was at the moment of announcing the results and you don’t have any documentary evidence before this honourable tribunal that shows the names of delegates. And your name is not there also,he said yes because his name is not supposed to be there.
There is a report here that shows the last paragraph contain references of Court of Appeal to the Congress of 25-9-2021 yes and he said there was another congress in August.
After all the cross Examinations,the tribunal when in to the chambers with the Lead Counsels and later adjourned the matter to 11-9-2023 for adoption of written addresses.