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Plateau Northern Senate: Tribunal reserves verdict on Shafi’u suit against Mwadkwon

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 DANIEL DAUDA, Jos

 

 

The Plateau Northern Senatorial district rerun election petition Tribunal sitting in Bauchi state had on Friday reserved judgment in a petition filed by candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Yakubu Muhammad Shafi’u against Senator Pam Dachungyang Mwadkwon of Action Democratic Party (ADP).

 

The three- man panel of the Tribunal led by its chairman, Hon. Justice Cordelia Ogadi having heard submissions of all parties involved in the suit said the Tribunal will communicate them when judgment is ready.

 

Recall that, Shafi’u and NNPP (1st and 2nd petitioners) being dissatisfied with the declaration of Senator Mwadkwon and ADP (2nd and 3rd Respondents) by INEC (1st Respondent) as the winner of the rerun election held on 3rd February, 2024, approached Tribunal seeking for redress.

 

The petitioners also accused Senator Mwadkwon of using fake name in INEC form EC9.

 

Counsel to petitioners, Yakubu Ruba, SAN, said they adopted all processes as their final submission on the petition, urging the Tribunal to grant all prayers sought by the petitioners and discountenance objections of the respondents.

 

“On 11-6-2024 the petitioners filed a written address on document tendered by PW1 but dated 10-6-2024. The petitioners on 11-6-2024 filed written address in opposition to 1st and 2nd respondents on admissibility of documents, but dated 10-6-2024, we adopt same as a support to the petitioners petition urging your Lordships to grant all petitioners prayers and discountenance respondents objection.”

 

Barr. S. Oyawole, counsel to INEC (1st respondent) revealed they have filed  their final argument on 21-6-2024, and also filed in opposition to the admissibility of PW1 document evidence. Prayed the Tribunal to sustain and expunge the evidence of PW1 and dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

 

Oyawole Esq, the petitioners has narrowed down the issues in this petition, he referred Tribunal to page 141 of the petitioners written address to the admissibility of documents and evidence on 11-6-2024.

 

According to him, “the petitioners saying that exhibit P3 is pivotal to their case, which I totally agreed with them because exhibit P3 having been tendered through PW1 is not tenable as PW1 is not a competent witness.

 

“The Court should take note of page 2:1 and 2 of the 1st respondent written address. The 1st petitioner’s reply to the 1st respondent on point of law should be discountenanced as the petitioners did not raise any new issue rather it was a repetition.”

 

However, counsel to 2nd and 3rd respondents, S.G. Odeh told Tribunal that they filed on 6-6-2024 but dated 5-6-2024. On petitioners objection on the admissibility of exhibit 2R1 tendered by the respondents, he acknowledged they had filed on 6-62024 but dated 3-3-2024, saying they adopted all processes as their final adoption on the matter.

 

Barr. Odeh drew the attention of the Tribunal to page 4:3 of their final submission, that any complaint relating to INEC form EC9 are preelection matter and the Tribunal will not  have  the jurisdiction to entertain same.

 

“The issue of change of name raised by the petitioners does not arise…..see page 14-15 of 2nd and 3rd respondents final written address. The petitioners did not prove any allegation of forgery. Page 3:8 of petitioners, 2nd and 3rd respondents replied to the petition, the petitioners conceded that 2nd respondent (Senator Mwadkwon) is educated up to the secondary level and is qualified to contest that election.”

 

Daily Champion Newspaper reports that, Senator Pam Dachungyang Mwadkwon have since 2018 obtained affidavit of deed-poll, duly certified and issued by the registrar of Supreme Court, Nigeria.

 

 

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