Election Petition: Tribunal orders Tambuwal, PDP to present all witnesses July 31st

Aminu Tambuwal

By Ado Hassan, Sokoto

The 2019 Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto has ordered the 2nd and 3rd Respondents,  Governor Aminu Waziiri Tambuwal and the Peoples Democratic Party  ( PDP),  to bring all their witnesses to the Court  on July 31, 2019.

The tribunal’s decision was at its sitting yesterday, was sequel to an application for an adjournment to July 31, 2019, by the Lead Counsel of Governor Aminu Waziiri Tambuwal,  Barrister Emmanuel Ukala,  SAN.

The adjournment was sought by Ukala to enable him continue with the presentation of his witnesses , just after presenting three weak  witnesses on subpoena .

However, the 2nd and 3rd Respondents had earlier at the pre-hearing proceedings of the Tribunal told the Court that they have 42 and 33 witnesses respectively to present before the tribunal.

Penultimate week, the 1st Respondent,  the Independent National Electoral Commission  ( INEC), had woefully failed to present the twelve witnesses it earlier claimed to have.

The Tribunal Chairman,  Justice Abdullahi Bawale , had vehemently objected to Ukala’s application for adjournment , insisting that, the 2nd Respondent must present all his witnesses to the Court today.

After the serial failure to continue with the presentation of his witnesses , after bringing only three of them, citing undisclosed ” logistics reasons, ”  Tribunal Chairman later ordered the 2nd and  3rd Respondents to bring all their  witnesses tomoorow.

The Lead Counsel for the 3rd Respondent,  Aare Akinmuyiwa Akinboro,  SAN, could not present any witness as ordered by the Tribunal .

He said,” we were just waiting to see where  the 2nd Respondent would stop, the  we take from there .”

The Lead Counsel for the Petitioners,  Dr Alex Izinyon , SAN, had also strongly objected to the application for an adjournment by the 2nd Respondent.

Ukala had earlier tendered some documents to the Tribunal , from the Bar and they were admitted as ” Identifications -IDs,”  by the Court .

Izinyon also objected to the development, saying , ” we object to doing this , although we reserve our objection .”

They include the results for Labe-Labe Primary School Polling Unit, Bashire / Maikada ward ,  in Tambuwal Local Governemnt, Randa-Randa Polling Unit, Fura  Girke ward , Tureta Local Governemnt and Shiyyar Noma polling unit, Shinaka ward of Goronyo Local Government.

The Court however ordered that, photocopies of the documents should be made in the Court , while the originals should be returned to INEC, for the safety of the documents , as prayed by Alhassan Umar, Counsel to the 1st Respondent,  INEC.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner  ( REC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadeeq Musa, represented by an Administrative Officer , Bashir Ahmed Tahir, had earlier been subpoenaed by the Tribunal,  where he tendered some documents before the Tribunal.

The documents include Forms EC8 A and Forms EC8 B from some  polling units in Tambuwal ,  Goronyo, Tureta and Wurno Local Governments .

They were the original results sheets and the summary of the same polling units.

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