The former Majority Leader and member Representing Mikang State Constituency in the 9th Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. NAANLONG GAPYIL DANIEL, testified as a super star witness in his case at the ongoing Plateau State and National Assembly election tribunal holding in Jos, Plateau State on the 21st July, 2023*
The former *Majority Leader* of the 9th Plateau State House of Assembly *Hon. Naanlong Gapyil Daniel* is challenging the qualification of PDP to sponsor a candidate particularly Hon. Moses Sule in the just concluded 18th march 2023 House of Assembly election of Mikang State Assembly for lack of valid structures and unlawful votes amongst other things, where Hon. Moses Sule was purportedly declared by INEC as the winner of that election.
Hon. Naanlong made this clear on Friday, 21st, July, 2023, when he appeared as a star witness in his case, before the ongoing State and National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in the high court complex, Jos, Plateau State.
After affirmation, the former *Majority Leader* was led by his senior Lead counsel, *S. S. OBENDE, Esq,* where he showed him some documents to confirm if those where the said documents he refered to in his witness statement on oath and he confirmed in the affirmative, the documents including several judgements of the tribunal, high court, appeal court and supreme court which confirms that PDP are working in disobedience of court order and have no structures, after which copies of the documents were handed over to counsels to INEC, Hon. Moses Sule and the PDP, NS. Obimaje, Esq and S. Oyawole, Esq, respectively for further cross examination.
The former *Majority Leader* was shown a document which indicated therein that INEC had published his name and that of Hon. Moses Sule, and asked if he had raised any objection to that effect before the election, he said he only went there to check his name and when he found out that his name was there he left without checking any other person’s name.
Q. He was then asked again, “Did you know if Hon. Moses Sule was in the contest?”
He answered that, ‘To the best of my knowledge PDP was not qualify to Sponsor any candidate for elections on the Plateau because they don’t have any legal capacity or structure. So how would Hon. Moses be in that contest in the first place?
Q. Did you object to any name wrongfully spelled in the published list prior to the elections?
Ans. I saw my name but I didn’t go into the details of the spelling and as a two term member I expected INEC should be familiar with the spelling of my name. I expected INEC to be above board. I also realized that INEC wrongfully spelled my polling unit name too. but I have raised the issue in my witness statement in my petition.
Q. PDP Lawyer then ask him, are you a member of PDP?
Ans. Hon. Naanlong said no my Lord!
Q. PDP counsel asked, do you participate in PDP activities?
Ans. No my Lord!
Q. Are you aware that PDP have conducted Primary’s for the nomination of their candidates?
Ans. How can they conduct primary’s when they don’t have structured because they are still in disobedience of court orders.
He was then presented another document which was caption as INEC comprehensive reports of supervision of PDP’S repeated congress by INEC held in Langfield of little Rayfield, Jos, the lead counsel asked:
Q. If you are aware that the party conducted another congresses?
Ans. There was no any repeated congresses to my knowledge because there was an order from a high court in Pankshin restraining the acclaimed PDP committee from going ahead with the purported State congresses.
Q. Do you have any evidence of the court order?
The former Majority Leader answered in the affirmative, which prompted the PDP lawyer to ask again if he has any evidence to buttress his claims?
The former *Majority Leader* then dip his hand in his pocket and quickly removed a copy of the certified true copy of the court order that was issued by a high court of competent jurisdiction in Pankshin stopping PDP from holding such exercise and gave it to the lead counsel .”
Afterwards, the Lead counsel to the first pettitioner *S.S. Obende, Esq,* advanced strong suggestion that if defendant counsel can admit the document in evidence to be tendered at the bar, but counsel to both PDP and Hon. Moses, O. Oyawole, who was cross examining at the moment, quickly opposed the suggestion knowing fully well the implications of that document and he said it lacked the merit to be accorded such treatment as a cover up.
The Lead counsel, O. Oyawole, also drew the attention of the former *majority Leader* to two separate judgements of a High Court and Appeal Court respectively in Augustine Timkuk case, which he claimed both judicial chambers had already affirmed the authenticity of Plateau State PDP structure and ask the former *Majority Leader* to read a particular paragraph and *Hon. Naanlong* went ahead and read as thus
*In conclusion, I find merit in the notice of preliminary objections and agree with the 2nd and 3rd defendant/objector that the Honourable court lacks the justification to entertain and determine the originating surmmons.*
*The originating surmmons is incompetent and is accordingly dismissed.*
and the PDP lead counsel immediately became restless and confused telling the former *majority* *Leader* to stop reading because that was not where he ask him to read, out of anger the PDP lawyer collected the document and open the paragraph of interest for him to read and the entire court boast into laughter, the judges then ask Hon. Naanlong to read that portion saying it won’t change the facts and substance in that case for any reason, and then he went ahead to read it as thus.
*I agree with the submission of the counsel to the 2nd defendant that the repeated congress of the 2nd defendant was held on the 25th day of September 2021 and monitored by the 1st respondent as evidence by exibit “R5” this was the reason the claimant went ahead to participate in the primary’s for Langtang North State Constituency on the 2nd of May, 2022.* after reading the above paragraph the former *Majority Leader* drew the attention of the PDP counsel in response to the paragraph he read above and he said the conclusion of the matter is the most important substance in that judgement as he earlier read as follows:
*In conclusion, I find merit in the notice of preliminary objections and agree with the 2nd and 3rd defendant/objector that the Honourable court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain and determine the originating surmmons.*
*The originating surmmons is incompetent and is accordingly dismissed.* he went further to say the case was *STATUS BARRED* and it was dismissed based on the preliminary objections raised by the PDP and not on the merit or compliance of court order. But accordingly due to lack of jurisdiction as clearly stated above in the judgement, so PDP is not qualified to contest the said elections because they don’t have structure.
Upon hearing the
submission of *Hon. Naanlong* on the matter, the PDP lawyer who was at that point confused and angrier was then prompted to say, “Honorable, please calm down, be careful, we don’t operate like that here, this is a civil environment, then the judges caution the PDP counsel also to be civil in asking his questions and he reluctantly said he is derailed because it seems as if the witness is having his Lordship protection,.
On a final note, the PDP lead counsel went ahead to ask him if he voted on the day of the election and in which unit then *Hon. Naanlong* said yes he voted at *PANGJEM PRIMARY SCHOOL polling unit.* and he also drew the attention of the tribunal that he noticed his polling unit name was wrongly spelled by INEC which they wrote *PANGYEN* instead of *PANGJEM*
then the PDP lead counsel asked him if after voting he retired home for the day and the former *Majority Leader* responded that he didn’t retire home after voting because he was a principal actor in that election so he was making calls to get reports from his agents who are his representative in various units and wards,.
Then the PDP lead counsel asked him if he sign any of the results as tabulated in his witness statement and he said he didn’t sign any result but his agents signed on his behalf. The PDP lead counsel further said, “my Lords, I’m okay with this witness.”
Thereafter, the counsel to the petitioner *S.S* . *Obende* said he had no further re- examination to advance, and told the tribunal that he was done for the day till the next adjourned date when he is expected to bring forth more witnesses.
The tribunal upon a private discussion adjourned its sitting till the 4th of August, 2023 for continuation of hearing.
and the court then rise.