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Justice For Sale: Election Tribunal And Rule Of Law Been Xray From The Ongoing Governorship, Senatorial Case And Its Injustice On Democratic Judgment By Yakubu Busari

By   /  September 23, 2015  /  No Comments

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unnamedThe 2015 might have come and gone, but many are still aggrieved over what they termed as fraud and irregularities that marred the People Democratic Party primaries in Plateau state providing a soft landing for the All Progressive Congress.

Upon this the Plateau PDP primaries that forced Sen GNS Pwajok as the flag bearer in the state ,has been described as a charade and a mockery of democracy that turned the whole North-central to support the opposition to form a new government.

In a petition sent to the National leadership of the party which was indeed calling on the former Governor Jonah David Jang to shift his agenda and accept the Deputy Ignatius Longjan was disregarded.

The 2015 gubernatorial elections has been described as free and fair ,the report gathered that the recognized factions gave overwhelming vote to the APC candidate ,Bar. Simon Bako Lalong this time under the chairmanship of Adamu Mua’azu .

Then there came the first test, it came in the form of a miracle from God to Plateau state -the fruits of 16 years prayers have been share to deliverance from the bondage of rigged in pretence governance.

The satanic Maradona of thieves election -rigging style of closed door forgery of “winners “, the naira induced disconnect between polling booth results and collation center results, ballot prostitution, decadence state -imposed servitude, and the syndrome of premature gratification.

The roads led, To a clean, free and fair election that would unshackle the citizens of Plateau and Nigerian at-large turned to that road and borrowed binoculars, peeped ahead for signs of better things to come in the national polity.

For the people of Plateau North ,who betrayed their conscience ,their coward shames will definitely stain their names ,the wretched minds that dare not dare more on that later .The underground politics of secret killings ,subterfuge understand cuts ,upper cuts and shameless actions of some Northern supporters before and after the primary election which made it interesting subject of discussion even at Governor had been sworn-in 3 months after they group are still in politics by its configuration undeniably is a game of interest.

Well, it is also a fact that virtually all Nigerian politicians are a living Paradox .An epitome of duplicity with decorated neck of medals in the acts of political treachery, which can do anything to either acquire or to remain in the circle of power. We have all seen how some few black sheep of a family can bring humiliation and degradation to bear on the entire household.

The issue of zoning agreed upon within PDP before the Plateau North which Jang wholeheartedly supported in 1996 -1999 gubernatorial elections made PDP primaries a north vs political injustice contest where some bigwigs couldn’t have the whereabouts of delegates forms.

Jang willingly connived with those who have been trying to implement an agenda meant to enslave the Plateau south and turn them into a shadow of their old selves. It is important to note that the NBA President carefully chose the time and place to make his heavily loaded statement and that before this open and frontal accusations, the issue of judicial corruption has remained a high-pitch murmur within the legal profession .

A few maverick judges and lawyers had remained the commendable, though solitary exception, as lawyers, senior advocates as the eyes of the world is peeping through the crack building in a case of Simon Lalong vs GNS Pwajok whether similar calculated bribe judgment will recorded.

The use of language may have satisfied legal and professional protocol but it didn’t diminish the weight or import of his accusations in the recent judgment of Sen.Jonah David Jang vs Ayisa Sambo

However with the adoption of Final Counsel addresses in petition No. EPT/PL/GOV/02/2015, before the Governorship Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos, the Plateau State capital, filed by Sen GNS Pwajok and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), challenging the victory of Governor Simon Lalong and the All Progressive Congress (APC), is now slated for 2nd October, 2015

You would recall that each Counsel representing each party in the petition is expected to adumbrate on his submissions before the Tribunal. You would also recall that based on the numerous rulings of the Tribunal in the course of prosecuting the petition, Counsel for each party are expected to put more weight in addressing the Tribunal on documents they had objected to when they were been tendered at the trial.

The Tribunal had slated this date, after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), opened and closed its case in the petition without calling any witness or tendering any document. According to INEC, “the matter is slated for hearing today for defence of the third (3rd ) Respondent. We have decided not to call any witness and we hereby close our defence,” Counsel to INEC, told the Tribunal.

Before getting to this stage, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Plateau State,  had tendered a total of 2787 documents in the course of proving their case in the petition No. EPT/PL/GOV/02/2015, as the All Progressive Congress gets set to open their defence on Thursday 20

The August, 2015. Some of the documents tendered by Sen. GNS Pwajok and the PDP include Forms EC8Cs, for Jos North, Jos East, Bokkos, Mangu, Pankshin, Shendam and Wase, with code numbers, 05, 04, 03, 11, 13, 16 and 17 respectively. Other documents were Forms EC8D and EC8E, being summary of Governorship results from Local Government and the declaration sheet respectively.

You would recall that the PDP had earlier cried foul over the documents produced and certified for them to prosecute its petition against the Governorship election of 11th April 2015. The lead Counsel to the PDP and Sen. G.N.S Pwajok (the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP), Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), during the hearing of the petition, had told the Tribunal that the documents certified for the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute the petition, were “fake”. He said, “It is unfortunate! What we discovered is that all the bundles of documents brought to us by INEC that they were duly certified were all fake”. We were trapped. The CTCs were aimed at truncating our case. The CTCs were stamped but no physical signing on them. I do not want to believe that this was deliberate. If we have not been lucky, we would have tendered these documents and they would have been thrown away”. However, INEC’S Counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), dismissed the alarm, and told the Tribunal that it is a simple administrative issue that can be corrected by the cooperation of the PDP and INEC staff. In another development, the APC being the 1st Respondent in the petition, has also told the Tribunal that, the documents earlier issued to the party were also as the ones the PDP called “fake”, and that they have also returned them in order for INEC to issue them with fresh CTCs of the documents. Responding on that piece of information, Steven Ibyem, the Principal Legal officer in INEC Plateau State, told the Tribunal that the information given by the 1st Respondent was correct. He said, “it is correct that the 1st Respondent made that application. We certified those documents that were applied for and gave them to the 1st Respondent” “Last week, they complained that the documents were not proper because of the engravement signature used in the certification. At this time, the PDP (petitioners), have returned theirs with similar complaint. “So, we have to work on that of the petitioners first before that of the 1st Respondent. The 1st Respondent said they want fresh documents and not the ones they returned. We are in the process of photocopying and certifying the documents. Because of the volume, we are looking at Tuesday 18th August to issue them to the 1st Respondent. This singular disclosure made the Tribunal to adjourn the hearing of the petition to Thursday, 20th August for the 1st Respondent to open its defence. The Tribunal in its ruling on the application for adjournment made by the 1st Respondent to enable them get these documents from INEC that was objected to by the petitioners, said that from its record, it was not stated that “the defence would open their case immediately the petitioners close theirs but, that hearing would be day by day.”

Simon  Lalong who was sworn in on 29th May, 2015 as the Governor of Plateau state after the result of the governorship election was announced and declared by INEC, tendered over 603 documents in defence in the petition filed by Sen. GNS Pwajok and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

Some of the documents tendered by Sen. GNS Pwajok and the PDP include Forms EC8Cs, for Jos North, Jos East, Bokkos, Mangu, Pankshin, Shendam and Wase, with code numbers, 05, 04, 03, 11, 13, 16 and 17 respectively. Other documents were Forms EC8D and EC8E, being summary of Governorship results from Local Government and the declaration sheet respectively.

On his part, Lalong through his counsel Rolland Otaru SAN, had tendered Forms EC8As, EC8Bs, EC8Cs, EC8Ds and EC8E, for Riyom, Jos south, Barkin-ladi and some polling unities in Jos North Local Government Areas, through its witness, RW8, one Luka Caleb Fwanyel Esq. who said he was a onetime Head of the Plateau State Civil Service and currently a politician with the APC.

In summary, 603 Voters Registers, 52 forms EC8As for Riyom code 15, Jos South with code 06, 163 forms EC8As, Barkinladi with code 01, 58 forms EC8As, while Jos North, 38 forms EC8As were tendered by Lalong.

Others were, 7 forms EC8Bs from Riyom, 12 forms EC8Bs from Jos South, 10 forms EC8Bs from Barkinladi and 3 forms EC8Bs from Jos North Local Government Areas.

Other additional documents tendered were EC8Cs from Riyom code 15, Jos South code 06, Jos North code 5 and Barkiladi code 01. Including, form EC8Ds (being summaries of governorship results at LGAs) and form EC8E (being the declaration of result for the office of governor of Plateau State)

You would recall that Simon Lalong, being the 1st Respondent in the petition, had also told the Tribunal that, the documents earlier issued to him, were also as the ones the PDP called “fake”, and that they have also returned them in order for INEC to issue them with fresh CTCs of the documents. Responding on that piece of information, Steven Ibyem, the Principal Legal officer in INEC Plateau State, told the Tribunal that the information given by the 1st Respondent was correct. He said, “it is correct that the 1st Respondent made that application. We certified those documents that were applied for and gave them to the 1st Respondent” “Last week, they complained that the documents were not proper because of the engravement signature used in the certification. At this time, the PDP (petitioners), have returned theirs with similar complaint. “So, we have to work on that of the petitioners first before that of the 1st Respondent. The 1st Respondent said they want fresh documents and not the ones they returned. We are in the process of photocopying and certifying the documents. Because of the volume, we are looking at Tuesday 18th August to issue them to the 1st Respondent. This singular disclosure made the Tribunal to adjourn the hearing of the petition to Thursday, 20th August for the 1st Respondent to open its defence. The Tribunal in its ruling on the application for adjournment made by the 1st Respondent to enable them get these documents from INEC that was objected to by the petitioners, said that from its record, it was not stated that “the defence would open their case immediately the petitioners close theirs but that hearing would be day by day.”

‪To add weight to the documents, the witness RW8, Barr. Luka, also tendered the CTC of the electronically download of the Card Reader accreditation for the four Local Government Areas, the Certificate of INEC, and an official receipt of INEC date 8th May, 2015.

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  • Published: 3 years ago on September 23, 2015
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  • Last Modified: September 23, 2015 @ 9:19 pm
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