Tribunal Reserves Judgement Sine Die In Sambo, Jang Matter
The election petitions tribunal in Jos has reserved judgement in two petitions, one by Mrs. Eunice Ayisa Sambo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the immediate past governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah David Jang over Plateau North Senatorial seat and that of Yakubu Gomshar against Timothy Golu over Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency in the National Assembly.
The tribunal reserved judgment in the cases yesterday after the adoption of final written addresses of counsels in the matter. In the petition of Ayisa Sambo, counsel to the first respondent, Sunday Oyewole, in his submission after adopting his final written addresses, asked the tribunal to find and hold that all the electoral materials and result sheets tendered by the petitioners are inadmissible and should be rejected.
Oyewole further submitted that all the certified true copies of documents tendered by the petitioners failed to meet the requirements of law on certification because the certifying officer did not certify any of them in long hand and that if the tribunal on the basis of that expunged the documents, the petitioners would have nothing left to hold on to, particularly when their case rested on documented evidence.
He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition. In his address, counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Garba Pwul (SAN), asked the tribunal to discountenance the submission of Oyewole on the grounds that the issue of certification of documents and the admissibility has been dealt with at the time they were tendered.
Pwul further submitted that the documents referred to were further supported by witness statements, which further brightened the position of the petitioners.
Citing Belgore against Ameh, the petitioners’ counsel maintained that so far nothing, including the respondents’ address, has impugned the relevance of the said documents, adding that since they are relevant, they are admissible.
He argued that the tribunal before which the documents were tendered had a duty of ensuring that such were relied upon in final judgement. Pwul further submitted that regards should be accorded to substantial justice against undue technicalities, urging the tribunal to grant the petitioners’ prayers, while counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. David Meshi, urged the tribunal to also dismiss it.
However, in the petition to Yakubu Gomshar against Timothy Golu, the tribunal, after taking addresses of counsels in the matter, ruled that with the adoption of the final written addresses, what is left is judgement.
The tribunal, chaired by Justice Olanre Akeredolu, accordingly reserved judgements, adding that counsels would be notified in due course the date of judgement in the two petitions.