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Tribunal sets September 14 for adoption of written addresses

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has presented more documents used in the March eighteen governorship election in Nasarawa.

State INEC Head of Operations presented the documents when he appeared before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lafia, the state capital on Wednesday.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, Counsel to the APC, Mathew Burkah SAN told the tribunal that they have caused a subpoena to be issued on one Gyang Dabung who was said to have certified a certificate to PDP.

He further told the tribunal that the subpoena was taken to the INEC Headquarters Abuja on the 29th of August, but the Commission’s Secretary refused to accept the subpoena, adding that they have filed two processes which are the third respondent’s schedule of witnesses and schedule of documents dated 30th August, 2023.

However, the PDP Lead Counsel Jibrin Samuel Okutepa SAN confirmed that they were served with the third respondent’s schedule of documents and witnesses, nothing that they were not aware of subpoena issued on one Gyang Dabung, staff of INEC , insisting that a copy of the subpoena should be given to them to enable them respond appropriately.

Burkah SAN for APC sought to tender a copy of the subpoena served on the Head of Operations, INEC Lafia office, original copy of ID card, and application that was not objected by Counsel to INEC Ishaka Muddie Dikko SAN and Dr Mubarak Adekilekun from Governor Abdullahi Sule but the PDP Lead Counsel Okutepa SAN objected to the admissibility of the documents.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi granted the application and marked the documents as exhibits.

Burkah added that they issued a subpoena witness statement dated 28th August, 2023 on the Head of Operations, INEC Lafia office to produce some documents.

Appearing before the tribunal, the State INEC Head of Operations, represented by a Senior Administrative Officer, Muhammad Yahaya Bello told the tribunal that they were subpoenaed to present some documents used in the March eighteen governorship election in Nasarawa State for 62 polling units.

Muhammad told the tribunal that they could not produce form EC8 A for some Polling Unit in Keana, which are GSS Aloshi, Keana Primary School Polling Unit, Angugi Agyala Polling Unit, Ara two in Nasarawa LGA Polling Unit, and Shege One Polling Unit in Toto LGA, adding that they do not have form EC8 B Akwanga.

Consequently, the APC Counsel, Burkah sought to tender all the documents in support of their defense, an application that first and second respondent’s counsel did not object but the Petitioners’ lead counsel Okutepa objected the admissibility of the documents.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi granted the application and marked the documents as exhibits.

However, the APC Counsel Burkah SAN said having reviewed the documents and witnesses presented before the tribunal, they decided to applied to close their defense.

Reacting to the second respondent’s application, first and second respondent’s counsel Ishaka Muddie Dikko SAN and Dr Mubarak Adekilekun as well as the petitioners’ Lead Counsel Okutepa SAN did not object the application.

Ruling on the application, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi granted the application and adjourned hearing till September 14, 2023 for all the counsel to adopt their final written addresses.

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