Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Senator representing Benue South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Abba Moro, has commended Alhaji Usman Abubakar, a senatorial candidate of Advance Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) in the 2019 elections, for withdrawing the petition challenging his election.
Moro gave the commendation in a chat with newsmen shortly after he attended the sitting of the National and State Assembly election petition tribunal in Makurdi on Monday, to witness proceedings at the petition filed against his elections by the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Stephen Lawani.
The former Minister of the Interior said Abubakar’s withdrawal from the case was a mark of better things to come for the people of the senatorial district.
“Abubakar has set a standard for Idoma speaking people of Benue state to emulate and this gesture would give me and my team of lawyers enough time to concentrate on the case between me and Chief Stephen Lawani,” Moro stated.
“Quite frankly, I will not forget this gesture in a hurry because I think that everybody that wants to contest an issue has the reason to do so; but in his wisdom he has withdrawn from further prosecution of the case.”
According to the Senator, the withdrawal of Abubakar’s (popularly known as ‘Young Alhaji’) petition would give him time to concentrate on the job of effectively representing the people of Benue South Senatorial District.
Earlier at the tribunal, counsel representing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Clement Mue, had told journalists after the Chief Lawani/Moro case was adjourned to July 1 that himself, Moro’s counsel, Kenneth Ikonne, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lawyer have indicated their intention to oppose the application brought by the counsel to Chief Steven Lawani of the APC, Mr Sunday Okpale.
Mue said they were opposing the motion on the ground that additional witnesses and documents should not be allowed after the 21 days given for such additional witnesses and documents, as provided under Section 285(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The tribunal, headed by Justice A A Adeleye, had struck out a similar application by Lawani’s lawyer on the ground that new matters were being introduced in the petition after the expiration of 21 days of the filing of the petition.