In the aftermath of the Bauchi State gubernatorial election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Election Petitions Tribunal to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the governor-elect, Bala Mohammed. The PDP argues that the APC’s petition lacks merit and is incompetent. Counsel to the PDP and Governor Bala, Barr Chris Uche, expressed confidence in their case and announced plans to file a motion for the tribunal to strike out the APC’s petition. Let’s explore the details of this legal battle and the upcoming proceedings.
Barr Chris Uche, representing the PDP and Governor Bala Mohammed, addressed the press following the tribunal’s pre-hearing session in Bauchi. He emphasized the lack of merit and incompetence in the APC’s petition and affirmed their intention to file a second motion to strike out the opposition’s claims. Uche highlighted their thorough examination of the election results and assured the tribunal that all necessary documents and witnesses would be presented to support their case.
The counsel further informed the press that the tribunal had allocated adequate time for the proceedings. The continuation and completion of the pre-hearing were scheduled for May 31, 2023. Uche emphasized their readiness to defend their position, contrasting the petitioners’ requested four weeks with their efficient ten-day defense. The PDP remains prepared to face the opposition’s arguments head-on.
Mohammed Ndako, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) counsel to the tribunal, spoke to journalists, indicating that their witnesses would be called upon in due course. He pointed out that the petitioners had claimed a four-week period for their presentation, highlighting their responsibility for bringing the case before the tribunal. The INEC counsel provided limited details, acknowledging the upcoming proceedings and the need for a break.
During the session, both parties reached an agreement regarding the time allocated for the re-examination of ordinary witnesses. Each witness would be granted five minutes, while the star witness would have 15 minutes for questioning by the respondents. This arrangement ensures an efficient and balanced exchange of information during the proceedings.
The Bauchi State Election Petitions Tribunal has become the battleground for the PDP and APC as they contend the outcome of the gubernatorial election. With the PDP urging the tribunal to dismiss the APC’s petition due to its lack of merit and incompetence, the legal battle continues. The next phase of the pre-hearing is set to take place on May 31, 2023, where both parties will present their cases before the tribunal. The PDP remains confident in their position, ready to face the opposition and defend the victory of Governor Bala Mohammed.