Kaduna: Tribunal Modifies Pre-hearing Report, As INEC Fails To Open Case Against Ashiru, PDP

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The Justice Victor Oviawe-led panel, responsible for handling the gubernatorial election petition Tribunal in Kaduna State for the March 18, 2023, election, has made modifications to the pre-hearing report.

The modification was made in response to the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to present its case against the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Isa Ashiru, and his party, as ordered by the tribunal during the previous sitting.

During the last sitting, INEC had failed to produce a subpoenaed witness, leading to the closure of the petitioners’ case. However, when the hearing resumed on Saturday, INEC was expected to open its case but failed to do so. The Commission’s Counsel requested an extension of time to allow their witnesses to appear before the tribunal, explaining that the witnesses were writing promotional examinations.

Despite the plea for further modification of the pre-hearing report, the tribunal expressed concerns that the INEC Counsels might be trying to waste the tribunal’s time. The tribunal then allotted three days each to the 1st respondent (INEC), 2nd respondent (Uba Sani), and 3rd respondent (APC) for the opening and closing of their cases, considering the significant number of witnesses they plan to present.

Upon hearing the submissions from all the Counsels, the three-man panel of the tribunal directed INEC to open its case on Wednesday and close the same day. The tribunal urged the Counsels to cooperate and avoid any further delays.

Meanwhile, the petition marked EPT/KD/Gov/4/23 has been adjourned till Wednesday, August 9, 2023, next week.