… Grants Alia one million Naira cost against PDP.
By Akume Raphael , Abuja
The Federal High Court Seven Abuja presided over by Honorable Justice Kolowale Omotosho has dismissed the Pre-Election Governorship suit of Rt. Hon. Titus Uba and PDP against INEC, APC and Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.
In a similar matter, the senatorial suit instituted by Gabriel suswam, Samuel Ortom and Abba Moro against INEC APC, Chief Titus Zam, Hon. Emmanuel Udende and Daniel Onjeh were also dismissed for lack of merits.
In both suit the Peoples Democratic Party allegedly said the All Progressives Congress APC has breached constitutional provisions and some section of the electoral act in their conduct of Direct Primaries for Governorship and senatorial election of candidates for 2023 general elections.
The PDP and their Governorship Candidate as well as their three Senatorial Candidates in Benue were seeking a Court injunction restraining INEC from accepting the name of Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia and the three Senatorial candidates of APC.
Delivery judgement In the two cases which Justice Kolowale Omotosho said are similar with the same pleadings resolved the issue of Locus Standi and Status Barred against the Defendants.
Going into the substantive suit justice Kolowale said the plaintiffs have failed to show reasonable cause of action to have the balance of probability fall in their side.
“The document is simply a handwritten note from nobody. A signature and initials of a position is the only thing showing that it was made by a person but the person is unknown as he did not state his name anywhere on the document.
The effect of a document without the name of the maker on it is clear as to whether it has any probative value…
The absence of the name of the maker of this document makes the document entirely unreliable and worthless in the eyes of the law.
This is moreso as the document could have been made by anybody whatsoever. It would be a stretch for anyone to suggest to the Court to place heavy reliance on the said document.
More so to the letter dated 14 April, 2022 from the 2nd Defendant to the 1st Defendant’s Chairman , and accompanying letter forwarding the membership register of the party to the 1st Defendant clearly disproves the assertion, that some local government areas were excluded.
There is no credible evidence to show that members of the 2nd Defendant in Katsina-Ala and Vandeikya Local Government Areas did not participate in the primaries and there was no indication that the register of member for the Local Government Areas were missing.
The evidence relied upon by the Plaintiffs in this instance is not worth the paper it is written on as a document purporting to be part of the official records of governmental bodies lacks the heading of the body, and has no name except an initial DD.PPM.
Moreso, the request of the Plaintiffs’ Counsel was for register of voters and not register of members as they claimed in their Originating Process.
The 1st Defendant does not keep register of voters of political parties nor list of members as was shown in Exhibit PDP 5 put register of members.
The letter was certainly requesting for documents not in the custody of the 1st Defendant.
The memorandum/note (Exhibit PDP 5) which the plaintiffs purportedly response to their request relates to a totally different matter to what the plaintiffs asked for.
The court is not expected to go on a voyage of discovery or to embark on speculations. Courts of law base their decision on credible evidence and not documents of unknown origin.
The suit being an Originating summons, parties fall and die by their exhibits. The case of the plaintiffs as it relates to submission or non submission of the register of members for Vandeikya and Katsina Ala Local Government Areas of the 2nd defendants is incredibly weak at best and non- existent at worst. Therefore the suit of the plaintiffs fails and same is unsalvageable.
In final analysis, the plaintiffs have failed to prove their case through credible evidence to make the balance of probability fall in their favour. Consequently, the questions for determination are resolved against the plaintiffs and the reliefs refused. This suit is hereby dismissed for lack of merit.”
At the end of the Judgment learned counsel to Rev Fr Hyacinth Iormem Alia SI Ameh SAN ask for cost of 2M, Fidelis Mnyim for APC also ask for 2M as well as counsel to Prof. Terhemba Shija.
Justice Kolowale Omotosho in his ruling on the request, Grant 1M to Rev Fr Alia, and five hundred Thousand Naira to all other parties involved in the Governorship suit and five hundred thousand naira to each of the defendants in the Senatorial suit.
Source: Ado Progressive Council