Today seems to be one of the saddest day for members of People's Democratic Party at governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Jos.

Supporters and lawyers of the party who were at the tribunal received shockers from one of PDP  bigwigs and also a former member of the defunct Senator Tunde Ogbeh caretaker committee  that conducted it's purported congresses in the state.

Following the shocking testimonies and damaging revelations, some supporters of the party  could not but  walked out of court room. PDP Lawyers, particularly the junior counsel saw the other side of the tribunal as they were ordered to relocate from their initial seats to a secular position in the court room due to the intermittent harassments and intimidations of APC witnesses while giving evidence.

First to give evidence, was one Emmanuel Macham who said he was at the tribunal based on a subpoena served on him on the 30th,June 2023 to come and give evidence.

Led in evidence by the Petitioner's lead Counsel Professor Kayode Olatoke SAN, Macham stated that on receipt of the subpoena, he immediately contacted his lawyer one Barrister Mannir who wrote his statement for him.

He therefore wanted the tribunal to adopt and admit the  written statement as his evidence after identifying it.
At that juncture, the petitioner's lawyer referred him to some paragraphs of his statement which mentioned some judgements of cases concerning the PDP in the state.

The petitioner's lawyer then applied to tender Macham's PDP membership card, nomination form for the party congresses, and also provisional clearance certificate to contest for the office of Publicity Secretary among other documents.

INEC counsel Olajide and Caleb Mutfwang's lawyer Pius Akubo SAN without that of the PDP objected to the admissibility of the documents but reserved their reasons to the time for written addresses.

In his statement before the tribunal,Macham claims that in February 2020,he obtained nomination form to contest for position of the State Publicity Secretary but that the PDP rather than holding the Congress, it forwarded some selected names to Abuja as the party's executive officers of the state.

According to him,with other stake holders,he decided to challenge that decision at the Jos High Court.
He disclosed that in its judgement of 26th November 2020,the PDP was ordered to take steps to conduct congress for the executive committee members adding that it did not comply with that order  nor appeal against it. 
Macham further disclosed that as a result of the non compliance with the court order, his party the PDP did not participate in the local government election conducted by the Plateau State Independent  Electoral Commission.
The witness also stated that the PDP went as far as the supreme Court to challenge the decision of Jos High Court but lost.

Macham revealed that as member of the Party, at no time did all the 17 local government areas of state participate in the conduct of any Congress for the purpose of electing members of the state executive council of the party.

Under cross -examination by INEC counsel, the witness told the tribunal that he was not aware that one John Akans is the State Publicity Secretary of the party and that he never contested the position with him.

Macham said he heard over the radio, that  PDP held its Congress on the 25th of September 2021 and that he was not invited to participate.

Asked on the letter he wrote to the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Macham confirmed it and revealed that he just drew his attention  to lack of party structure in the state  following various court judgements against the Party.

He described the judgement obtained by one Augustine Timkuk, that the PDP conducted a valid Congress and that it was supervised by INEC, as a nullity since the court of Appeal had set aside that decision.

Counsel to Mutfwang, Akubo SAN drew the attention of the witness to some paragraphs of his statement and some court judgements where it was held that  PDP held a valid Congress but Macham told the tribunal that there was a court order restraining the purported Congress of 25th September 2021.

Taking his turn,in the cross -examination,the PDP counsel Atoyebi Oyetola SAN wanted to Know if Macham was still a member of the party to which he answered in the affirmative.
Macham' said he has  as at  last week paid his dues to his acting ward chairman in Daffo of Bokkos local government area.

When showed his suspension letter from the party in November 2021, Macham said he was not aware of that.
The PDP lawyer went further to confront him with his face book picture with Dr Nentawe and applied to tender it but was objected to by the petitioner's counsel, saying that there was no evidence and signs that the purported picture was from the witness's face book.

The first and second respondents lawyers did not object to the admissibility of the picture and it was admitted as marked as exhibit.

On his part Emmanuel Goar in his 32 paragraph  statement to the tribunal, said as a former member of the PDP, he knew that as a result of the inability of the party to constitute a structure,the National headquarters of the party set up a caretaker committee headed by Senator Tunde Ogbeh and himself as one of its members.

Goar, said the care taker committee was unable to conduct wards and local government congresses in the 17 local government areas of the state.
According to him, he was aware that the Jos High Court had held that the appointment of caretaker committee after its judgement was not in order and as such all actions taken by the committee were null and void.

Goar revealed that by virtue of his position as a former speaker of the state House of assembly, he was a special delegate and that as a result of the non compliance of the order of the Jos high court, the purported state executive council members of the party including it's chairman were not allowed to vote at the PDP's national convention in October 2022.
Hearing continues....

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