The third respondent in the Kano governorship election tribunal hearing, the All Progressive Congress (APC) has closed its defence after presenting only one witness as against the 207 witnesses submitted before the election tribunal.
Solacebase recalled that the APC lead counsel, Chief Alex Ezion, SAN, on Friday, 23rd August 2019 requested the panel to adjourn its sitting till today, Monday 26th August 2019 for the continuation of witness presentation by the third respondent.
Contrary to the earlier request, the lead counsel, represented by Barrister Ibrahim Garba Waru, informed the tribunal that they have no any other witness to present after Professor Ibrahim Khalil Abdulsalam of Bayero University Kano who was the INEC Returning Officer of Nassarawa during the March 9th Gubernatorial Elections.
Barrister Ibrahim Garba Waru informed the tribunal of their wish to close their defence within two days out of the allocated ten days.
In her response, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Halima Shamaki Muhammad adjourned the sitting till Wednesday, 18th of September, 2019 for the adoption of final addresses from both the appellants and the respondents.
Earlier, the counsel to INEC, Barrister Adedayo Adedeji, applied for the opening of final written addresses process which was seconded by the counsel of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Chief M.N Duru and that of PDP’s Eyitayo Fatogun.
It was unanimously agreed that the respondents (INEC, Ganduje, and APC) would prepare their respective written addresses within ten days while the petitioners will respond in seven days after which the respondents are expected to counter-reply on the point of law within only five days.
It was gathered that the petitioners, PDP and its candidate Engr. Abba K. Yusuf took 14 days to present 4,020 documentary evidence and 34 oral witnesses out of 257, INEC as the first respondent, took only two days to present three witnesses out the 29 in it submitted. While Ganduje, the second respondent, was able to present four witnesses in 3 days out of the 203 he submitted to the tribunal. The third respondent, the APC, took two days to present one witness out 207 earlier submitted.
Previously, it was expected that both parties would take a total of 44 days for the presentation of witnesses, but spent only 21 days, while only 54 witnesses were presented as against the 696 expected to be presented before the Tribunal.
Friday 11th of October, 2019 will be the last day of the 180 days provided by the Electoral Act 2010 as amended