The resident electoral commission (REC) in the state was unable to make the records in its possession available, which is best defined as a “turned of event” in the ongoing plateau Central Senatorial district election tribunal sitting in plateau State.
Recall that at the previous adjourned date, petitioner Ambassador Yohanna Gotom used the tribunal to issue a subpoena for INEC to appear before it and made some crucial documents available to help the petitioner Youanna Gotom prosecute her case against honourable Diket Plang.
Despite providing the tribunal only a few documents, the Commission, represented by the Head of Logistics in Abuja, Mrs. Temong Kunkon, asserted that these were the only ones in her possession when the tribunal summoned the Commission to appear before it.
The Petitioner insisted on the provision of the materials that would assist him in opening his defence, therefore the issue was once more postponed to Monday, September 25, 2023, so the Commission could present the remaining documents.
The case was once more postponed to Tuesday, September 26, 2023, with a stern warning and subpoenaed letter to the (REC) Commissioner stating that he must honour the tribunal’s invitation and present the requested documents, or he may face jail time for contempt of court.
The presence of the Commission in the court was reported to the court by Mohammed Rabiu, counsel for the first respondent INEC, when the tribunal began to meet again on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
In addition, the INEC chief had not yet received a copy of the subpoenaed letter when he was called to appear before the tribunal, according to the 1st respondent INEC Counsel, which is why Mrs. Temong Kunkon, the head of logistics, appeared.
Surprisingly, the materials the Commission representative produced to court were the exact identical sets of documents that they had previously submitted to the tribunal when they had last appeared under subpoena.
When the Petitioner maintained that those weren’t the documents they wanted, INEC informed the tribunal that those were the only ones he currently had in his possession.
It was decided to use the identical documents that the Petitioner had presented at the bar, which are all photocopies rather than the (CTC) from the Commission as required by law, following heated debates from both parties and the citation of relevant authorities separately to support their positions.
After the dust had settled, the first respondent submitted a request to have the letter summoning the Commission withdrawn, which was approved.
However, the hearing has been postponed until September 27, 2023, to allow for further discussion and the calling of witnesses.