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Presidential poll trial: 100 witnesses to defend Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to open his defence today at the presidential election tribunal in the petition brought by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which challenged his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the April 16 presidential election.

This is after the electoral body had closed its defence before the tribunal, maintaining that the election was credible, free and fair. Daily Sun learnt that the president had lined up about 100 witnesses to defend his victory.

Meanwhile, the attempt by the CPC to compel the appearance of INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega at the presidential tribunal failed as the court struck out its subpoena order earlier issued against the chairman to appear before it on the ground that the petitioner had abandoned the issues relating to the subpoena.

In a swift reaction, the party, which described the ruling as a charade had vowed to challenge it at the Supreme Court. The tribunal had earlier issued a subpoena order for the INEC chairman to appear before it on Tuesday, September20, 2011 at 9am.

He was expected to tender before the tribunal the following documents; National Biometric Data Bank containing the national register of voters; a certified true copy of the Independent National Electoral Commission manual used in the conduct of the general election of 2011; certified true copy (hard copy) and electronic copy of voters’ register used in the presidential election evidencing accreditation of the registered voters in all polling units of the federation; certified true copies of all Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, EC8D and EC8E used for the conduct of the presidential elections held on April 16, 2011 evidencing the return of the result declared at the polling units, wards, local government areas, state and federal constituency declaration respectively and certified true copy of list of accredited local and international observers for the purpose of the monitoring the presidential elections held on April 16, 2011.

The rest include certified list of local contractors (indigenous) engaged by INEC (first respondent) to print ballot papers used in the presidential elections and copies of contract papers executed by INEC evidencing the award of contracts to them; a certified true copy of the tabulation of ballot papers distribution evidencing the serial numbers of the ballot papers shared across the country on polling units, wards, local government areas and states basis including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; certified true copy of delineation of polling units by their codes on the basis of states, constituencies, local government areas, wards, and polling units; excel application used in computer summation of the result for the presidential election used across the nation in the presidential election; down loaded result declared by the first respondent (INEC) for the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja held on April 16, 2011; original copy of letter to the chairman of the first respondent (INEC) from the Congress of Progressive Change dated March 30, 2011 and original copy of letter dated 18, 2011 by the Congress for Progressive Change to the chairman of the first respondent (INEC).

Before the subpoena was struck out, counsel to INEC, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, brought an application seeking a variation of the order; invariably seeking appearance of the INEC chairman without any of the aforementioned documents. But the CPC vehemently opposed the application. The subpoena on the INEC boss was struck out following arguments canvassed by counsel to President Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP, INEC and other respondents to the effect that it had been spent and abandoned by the petitioner who had closed its case without pursuing the presence of Prof. Jega.

Led by Chief Wole Olanikpekun, the respondent counsel including Chief Awomolo, Ikpeazu, Damien Dodo and Paul Erokoro collectively argued that as far as the proceedings of the tribunal were concerned; the subpoena had become an academic exercise since the petitioner had already closed his case. Concerted efforts by counsel to the petitioner, Mallam Abubakar Malami, to persuade the court with legal authorities to discountenance the arguments by the respondents counsel failed.


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Posted by on Sep 29 2011. Filed under Elections 2011, Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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