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APC closes defence at Kogi tribunal after failing to present witness




The All Progressives Congress (APC) second respondent in the petition against the party at the ongoing Kogi State election tribunal yesterday failed to produce its defence witness before the tribunal as expected. The party closed its case instead.

At the commencement of the matter at the state Governorship Election Tribunal held in the premises of a FCT High Court in Jabi, Abuja, counsel to the APC, Chief Akinolu Olujimi (SAN) told the tribunal that they would not be opening their defence since the 1st Respondent, Yahaya Bello had already made a case for this.

“We have been in the proceedings from the beginning to the last adjournment and it is our view that we should not burden this tribunal by calling extra evidence and fielding witnesses. So we will be closing our case,” Olujimi said.

Counsel to the 3rd Respondent, Alex Izinyon (SAN), tendered a certified true copy of report and result of APC primary election held on August 29, 2015 along with receipt of certification.

“We have looked at the evidence tendered by the petitioner. We feel there will be no need to bring extra oral evidence, but we will be tendering from the bar just one certified true copy of a document dated 29 August 2015,” Izinyon told the tribunal.

Counsel to the 1st Respondent, Mr. A. M. Aliyu, aligned himself with the submissions of Chief Olujimi and Izinyon and also told the tribunal that he had no objection to the document tendered by Izinyon.

Aliyu told the tribunal that the issue formulated by the petitioner who had earlier told the tribunal that Governor Bello had no associate as running mate for the office of the governor of the state should be disallowed.

According to Aliyu, the petitioner had already raised the issue of qualification in the petition. He therefore urged the tribunal to disallow the point raised by the petitioner’s counsel before he goes out of point.

Issue Three of the Issues for Determination formulated by petitioners was brought up by counsel to the petitioner, Chris Uche (SAN).

The tribunal thereafter adjourned the sitting till May 13, 2016 for the adoption of final written address from parties involved in the petition.

It is however yet unclear if Governor Yahaya Bello has indeed violated Section 187 (1) of the constitution by contesting in the Kogi State Governorship Election held on December 5, 2015 without a running mate.

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