Tribunal grants order for exchange of election documents by counsel

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo

THE Gombe State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has resolved to grant orders to both the petitioner and defendant’s counsel to meet and exchange documents to be tendered during the next adjourned pre-hearing date.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Matthew Adewara, said the counsel would meet today, Monday, June 22, 2015 and tomorrow, Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to agree on issues relating to the documents and report back to the tribunal on Friday, June 26, 2015.

He said their meeting would allow smooth proceeding.

During the pre-hearing session, counsel to the petitioner, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), told the tribunal that the petition may in the course of the court proceeding present over 200 more witnesses.

Akintola also asked the tribunal to allow tendering of documents of the petition and list of evidences during the court hearing.

Solomon Umoh (SAN), counsel to Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said only certified documents that are admissible should be tendered during the court proceedings, saying that the document, which contains 14 volumes, would be voluminous to be tendered within the limited time-frame of the tribunal’s sitting.

He, therefore, asked the court not to allow for any additional witnesses or amendment of the petition in any guise after submission and presentation of petition as provided by the law, arguing that parties should notify each other on their witnesses in order to avoid taking the other party back, which he said, may affect the court’s fair-hearing.

In another development, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) in Gombe State has disclosed that about 820 orphans and vulnerable children have benefited from the comprehensive service of the association.

Programme Manager, ARFH, Mrs. Faith Lana, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists during the close of the programme in Gombe yesterday, said that the NGO had been in Gombe since 2007 and is rounding off the project by the end of this month.

She said the support was basically for children who were made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS either infected or affected.

According to her: “We provided support in the area of education, health, nutrition and psychosocial, built the capacity of the care-givers and taught them how to have a saving culture through the village saving and loan association.”

Also speaking, the representative of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Malam Lawal Nas, commended the ARFH for making judicious use of the fund to improve the living standard of Nigerian children.

He further called on Gombe State government to make sure the children continue to receive best of service enshrined in the Nigerian Child Rights Act.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Gombe, Muhammad Bappah, gave the assurance of the sustainability of the project, saying: “Hence, all of us have an obligation to guarantee the survival, protection, participation and the complete educational development of the children.”

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