The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 presidential election on Friday in Abuja, closed their case at the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC).
The petitioners closed their case after calling 27 out of the 100 witnesses they had said they would call to give evidence in support of their joint petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election.
The witnesses included expert witnesses such as forensic analysts, star witnesses and subpoenaed witnesses mostly Presiding Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
The petitioners’ tendered their last batch of documents through their 27th witness, Mr Mike Enahoro-Eba, a legal practitioner.
The documents which were admitted in evidence included certified true copies of academic and work records of President Bola Tinubu such as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Certificate, a certificate from the Chicago State University and a Mobil Nigeria Oil Company Plc certificate of service.
Other documents admitted in evidence were a computer generated copy of a Guinean passport bearing the name Bola Ahmed Tinubu and notarised document of the judgment showing criminal forfeiture of $460,000 along with the certified cover note notorising it.
Enahoro-Eba was led in evidence by the petitioners lead counsel, Mr Chris Uche, SAN.
The petitioners also tendered a certificate of compliance and a witness statement on oath to prove the allegations contained in their petition challenging the outcome of the Feb. 25 presidential election.
The witness told the court that the NYSC certificate attached to the president’s documents which he submitted to INEC together with his form EC9, which is his nomination form, was issued in the name Tinubu Bola Adekunle.
He also told the court that the transcript in aid of admission into the Chicago State University made by South West College in the name of Bola Ahmed Tinubu had female as the gender of the applicant.
Counsel to all the respondents; the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, (APC), all objected to the admissibility of the documents.
Under cross examination by the lead counsel to INEC, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, the witness told the court that he was in Abuja during the election and that he voted.
He further said that the election was smooth from when he was accredited up to when he voted and left the polling unit.
The witness also told the court that he instituted a public interest suit against Tinubu at a Magistrate’s Court challenging Tinubu’s qualification to contest the presidential election.
For his part, counsel to President Tinubu, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, confronted the witness with a letter of the Chicago State University of June 27, 2022 stating that President Tinubu not only graduated from the University but graduated with honours.
The witness, however, told the court that he knew nothing about the letter.
Olanipekun also asked the witness if he had gone through the petitioner’s pleadings before coming to give evidence and he said he didn’t bother to read it because he was not part of the legal team of the petitioners.
The senior lawyer therefore told the witness that if he had bothered to read the petition, he would have noticed that the judgment he tendered was not part of the petitioners case.
For his part, counsel to the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, asked the witness if there was any certificate given by a police officer with regards to the judgment he tendered, the witness said there was none.
The witness also confirmed to the court that there was no finger print or signature on the judgment and that the documents were not certified.
The witness, in answering Fagbemi’s question as to whether he was an APC member, said that he was a member of the Obidient Movement of the Labour Party.
Having discharged the witness, Uche told the court that that was the end of the case of the petitioners.
“My lords, pursuant to paragraph 46 (5) of the Electoral Act, 2022, we most humbly apply to close the case of the petitioners.”
The respondents appealed to the court to allow them open their cases after the Eid-el-Kabir holiday.
The five-member panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani accepted the request and adjourned the case until July 3.
The petitioners in their joint petition marked: CA/PEPC/05/2023 are praying the court to among other things, withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the President Bola Tinubu by INEC.
The petitioners maintained that the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the presidential election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
They also contended that Tinubu’s election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices, insisting that he was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast during the election.
Atiku asked the PEPC to declare him winner of the presidential election on the grounds that he secured the second highest number of lawful votes cast during the election. (NAN)
Kogi Governorship Tribunal Adjourns Indefinitely Pending Completion of Election Materials Inspection
From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kogi State has adjourned pending the completion of inspection of election materials by the Social Democratic Party.
At the resumed hearing, the SDP said the INEC was cooperating with the inspection of materials as granted by the order of the Tribunal, but sought for more time.
Recall that the Tribunal had ordered INEC to issue certified copies of electoral materials on the November 11 off-cycle election in the state to the SDP within 48 hours.
It also ordered INEC to allow SDP’s forensic experts to examine some electoral materials.
The materials include Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi and Bassa Local Government Areas.
The tribunal ruled on Saturday in Lokoja that the SDP requested the materials to prove its case in the petition it filed against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu gave the order following two ex-parte motions filed on Nov. 19 by the SDP and by its governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu-Ajaka.
Justice Birnin-Kudu at the resumed hearing adjourned pending when the inspection of materials would have been completed.
Lead counsel to the petitioners, Mr John Adele (SAN), had earlier told the court that efforts to obtain certified copies of materials used in the six local government areas from INEC had been fruitful, except for some hitch, leading to delay in meeting with the 48hours.
The SDP and Muritala Yakubu are challenging the victory of APC and its candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo at the election petition tribunal.
Usman Ododo won the election with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Yakubu-Ajaka got 259,052 votes.
Salesman in Court for Allegedly Diverting N340, 400 Proceeds of Sales
A 30-year-old salesman, Thomas Daniel, on Tuesday appeared before a Kaduna Magistrates’ Court for allegedly diverting N340, 400 proceeds from sales of 74 bags of cement to his own personal use.
The defendant, who lives at Maraba Rido Kaduna, is facing a charge of stealing.
The prosecutor, Insp.
He said the defendant who was the salesman for the complainant, Godwin Moses, sold 74 bags of cement and refused to remit the proceeds to his employer.
He said that the defendant converted the money to personal use.
Leo said the offences contravened Section 217 of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, 2017.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Magistrate, Ibrahim Emmanuel, granted him bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
Emmanuel said that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction, and adjourned the case until Dec. 20, for hearing.(NAN)
Niger Assembly: Appeal Court Sacks Suleiman Wanchiko, Declares Bako Kasim Winner
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked Suleiman Wanchiko of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of Bida I (North) State Constituency election in Niger and declared Bako Kasim of All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the poll.
The three-member panel, while delivering the judgment through Justice Bature Isa-Gafai, held Wanchiko’s appeal was unmeritorious.
The appellate court agreed with Kasim’s counsel, Johnson Usman, SAN, that Wanchiko, having presented a forged testimonial to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ought to be disqualified from contesting the election.
Reports says that INEC had declared Wanchiko the winner of the Bida I (North) Constituency poll for the Niger State House of Assembly election conducted on March 18.
The electoral umpire had declared Wanchiko as the winner with 12, 062 votes as against 11, 820 votes scored by Kasim.
Dissatisfied with the INEC’s declaration, Kasim and APC, through their Counsel, Mr Usman, approached the state’s election petition tribunal via petition number: EPT/NG/SHA/11/2023 between Bako Kasim and another Vs. Suleiman Muhammad Wanchiko and another.
Kasim filed the petition on the grounds that Wanchiko was not qualified to contest in the election in that he submitted forged testimonial to INEC and that the election was invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.
At the end of trial, the tribunal found merit in the petitioners’ arguments and disqualified Wanchiko and ordered a re-run without him.
Not satisfied with the judgment of the tribunal, Wanchiko, through his counsel, Aliyu Lemu, SAN, approached the Court of Appeal, praying the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal.
But Kasim’s lawyer urged the court to dismiss the appeal and return his client as the winner of the election.
The appellate court upheld Usman’s argument that Wanchiko, having been disqualified, the proper order was to return Kasim as the winner of the poll and directed INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return.(NAN)
Read Our ePaper
Tiv Residents in America Seek Justice for Late Joshua Terngu Gwebe
ShareThe Mutual Union of the Tiv in America (MUTA), a non-profit and non-partisan charitable organization representing the Tiv community in...
Kogi Governorship Tribunal Adjourns Indefinitely Pending Completion of Election Materials Inspection
ShareFrom Joseph Amedu, Lokoja The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kogi State has adjourned pending the completion of inspection...
2024 Budget: Delta Govt. Earmarks N150bn for Works Sector
ShareThe Delta Government says it is earmarking the sum of N150 billion for its Works sector in the 2024 fiscal...
Tinubu’s 2024 Budget Speech: Budget of Renewed Hope
Share1. In furtherance of my sacred duties and obligations as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is my honour...
Enugu Governor Orders Biometric Verification of LG Staff Members
Share Gov Peter Mbah of Enugu has ordered a verification and biometric capturing of all local government workers in the...
Civil Defence Officers Shoot Secondary School Students In Abuja
ShareThe Nigeria Police, on Wednesday, arrested and detained three personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for shooting...
Diri Presents N480.9bn 2024 Budget to Bayelsa Assembly
ShareFrom Mike Tayese, Yenagoa Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Wednesday, presented the 2024 budget of N480.99 billion to...
Police Nab Suspected ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ Ritualist, Pregnant Wife, 19 Robbers in Benue
ShareFrom Attah Ede, Makurdi The Benue State Police Command, on Wednesday, said it has arrested a suspected ‘yahoo-yahoo’ ritualist identified...
Climate Change: YMCA Plants 13,500 Oil Palm Seedlings Across 9 Communities in Nasarawa
ShareBy Joseph Hans Apuu, Lafia The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) an NGO, has planted 13,500 oil palm seedlings in...
Abia Govt to Partner Multilateral Agencies to Build 248.46km Roads – Otti
ShareFrom Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia Abia state governor, Alex Otti has disclosed that his administration is ready to partner multilateral Organizations...