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Plateau polls tribunal asks lawyers to use simple language for witnesses as Jang mourns monarch




The Senatorial Election Petitions Tribunal in Jos, Plateau State Capital, hearing petitions by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the last general elections, Mrs. Eunice Ayisa Sambo, against the election of Senator Jonah Jang of PDP representing Plateau North Senatorial District, has drawn the attention of counsel on the need to properly direct their questions during across – examinations.

Meanwhile, senator representing Plateau North on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Jonah Jang has said that the late Ngolong Ngas, Nde Joshua Yilmazak’a Dimlong, was a royal father “whose love for his people and Plateau State as a wh
ole was unparalleled because he worked very hard to ensure their unity, peace and progress.”

Jang, who disclosed this in a condolence message to the Chairman of the Plateau State Council of Chiefs, His Majesty, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, declared that the death of the Ngolong Ngas was the more painful because “he was cut down by the cold hands of death in his prime.”

He declared that Nde Dimlong was “a true royal father to the Ngas nation who played a key role in the Plateau State Traditional Council which positively impacted on the overall socio – economic development of the state.”

The tribunal said that the observation became imperative in order for the lawyers to make such questions align with the direction of the point they will want to make as well as making it easier for witnesses to understand and respond on time. Technical legal terminologies should be avoided far as possible.

The session was a continuation of hearing yesterday in the petition where counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Sunday Obende, invited over 20 witnesses who are mostly APC Returning Officers and Agents during the elections.

One Musa Monday, who was the returning officer for Vwang Ward of Jos South local government council after admitting his witness statement, confirmed to the tribunal that the exhibit before him which comprises duplicate copies of result sheets and entry forms for Vwang Ward and each unit are those in his witness statement.

Obende then applied to tender before the tribunal the witness statement which was opposed by counsel to the defendant, Mr. Sunday Oyewole, who submitted that the exhibits are not the ones pleaded in the petition, noting that pleadings are material facts which have been so pleaded as joinders, adding that such evidence should not be in conflict with the facts, quoting a Court of Appeal decision to buttress his arguments even as he concluded by urging the tribunal to reject the witness statement.

However, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. DM. Meshi, confirmed the said exhibit refusing to oppose its admissibility in spite of a series of flow of questions on the floor from defendant’s counsel to the witness during the cross-examination.

The witness confirmed not being present at the various polling units of the ward when over – voting and cancellation of results were said to have been perpetrated as shown on the exhibit but that he registered his complaints about the misconduct to relevant authorities verbally as communicated to him by his agents.

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