The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kano has dismissed a motion on notice filed by the PDP and its governorship candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf, seeking to rearrange the initials used in their list of witnesses. The lead counsel to the petitioners, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), filed a motion seeking for “An order granting leave to the petitioners/applicants to rearrange and cross match in the list of witnesses, the coded alphabetical acronyms/initials used in the front loaded witnesses’ deposition that accompanied the petition.”
PDP also attached a streamlined witness list containing initials of 68 witnesses, which they intended to align with names of the witnesses as exhibit accompanying the motion. However, while cross checking the list, S. H. Garun Gabas, who is counsel to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who is the 2nd respondent, accused the petitioners of trying to import initials that were not originally among the list of witnesses. He therefore urged the tribunal to dismiss the application. Also objecting to the motion, counsel to the 3rd respondent, APC, Alex Iziyon (SAN) argued that if the application was granted, it would cause a quagmire in the tribunal as the application was filed after the 21 days within which a petition must be filed. The Justice Halima S. Muhammad-led tribunal dismissed the application, describing the action of the petitioners as “an abuse of court process,” saying the time within which witness list could be filed had elapsed. It would be recalled that the petitioners had earlier attempted to “correct” the list of their witnesses, a motion that was dismissed by the tribunal on July 16, on grounds of jurisdiction but later appealed and won at the Kaduna Division of Court of Appeal.