INEC has told the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Jos that it does not intend to call any witness in its defence but has only relevant documents to tender before it.
The commission made the declaration on Saturday when it opened its defence on Paradang’s petition against Mr Hezekiah Dimka’s victory in the March 9 National Assembly election.
Paradang, a former Immigration boss, who on Friday closed his prosecution case against Dimka’s victory, had called 13 witnesses and tendered 109 documents aside attachments to the tribunal.
But INEC, through its lead counsel, Mr Bibowu Nabena, categorically told the Tribunal that it would not call any witness but had documents it intended to tender before the Tribunal on July 8.
“My Lord, we have reviewed our case, and the 1st respondent (INEC), doesn’t intend to call any witness. However, we seek the indulgence of the Tribunal for an adjournment to enable us tender some CTC documents from the bar on Monday, July 8,” Nabena declared.
Also speaking, Mr Jacob Usman, Counsel to the 2nd respondent (Dinka), said, “ Nabena had informed them of his position in this matter, and we applied for a subpoena to be served on a witness, but it (subpoena) couldn’t be obtained on time for us to take him (witness) today.”
“We hope that by Monday it would be done and we shall put the witness to testify and after that we shall close our case,” Usman explained.
Responding, Mr Sunday Oyawole, lead Counsel to Paradang, said, “ My Lord, we are not objecting to the application, but if l knew about this development, l wouldn’t have come out today.”
Mr Pius Akubo (SAN), APC lead counsel, also said he wasn’t objecting to the application for an adjournment and described it as “an opportunity for us the defendants to go and tidy our defence and come back before your Lordship on Monday.”
The tribunal, in its ruling, said, “ we are appealing and soliciting for your cooperation to allow us do this job successfully.”
“We crave your indulgence to do the needful on Monday, when we shall, by God’s grace, reconvene.
“This matter is hereby adjourned to Monday July 8 for continuation of hearing,” the tribunal declared.