Plateau Tribunal To Lawyers: Use Simple Language On Witnesses

The Senatorial Election Petitions in Jos, Plateau Capital, has directed all lawyers partaking in suits brought before the tribunal to make us of simple language in cross-examining witnesses.

This directives was given during the hearing of the petitions brought before the tribunal by the All Progressives Congress () candidate in the last general elections, Mrs. Eunice Ayisa Sambo, against the election of Senator Jonah Jang of representing Plateau North Senatorial District.

The tribunal said that the observation became imperative in order for the lawyers to make such questions align with the direction of the point they will want to make as well as making it easier for witnesses to understand and respond on time. Technical legal terminologies should be avoided far as possible, The Guardian reported.

The session was a continuation of hearing yesterday in the petition where counsel to the petitioner, Mr. Sunday Obende, invited over 20 witnesses who are mostly APC Returning Officers and Agents during the elections.

One Musa Monday, who was the returning officer for Vwang Ward of Jos South local government council after admitting his witness statement, confirmed to the tribunal that the exhibit before him which comprises duplicate copies of result sheets and entry forms for Vwang Ward and each unit are those in his witness statement.

Obende then applied to tender before the tribunal the witness statement which was opposed by counsel to the defendant, Mr. Sunday Oyewole, who submitted that the exhibits are not the ones pleaded in the petition, noting that pleadings are material facts which have been so pleaded as joinders, adding that such evidence should not be in conflict with the facts, quoting a Court of Appeal decision to buttress his arguments even as he concluded by urging the tribunal to reject the witness statement.

However, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. DM. Meshi, confirmed the said exhibit refusing to oppose its admissibility in spite of a series of flow of questions on the floor from defendant’s counsel to the witness during the cross-examination.

The witness confirmed not being present at the various polling units of the ward when over – voting and cancellation of results were said to have been perpetrated as shown on the exhibit but that he registered his complaints about the misconduct to relevant authorities verbally as communicated to him by his agents.

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