Narawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura and the All Progressives Congress, APC yesterday closed their defence after presenting two witnesses in three days at the state governorship election petitions tribunal sitting in Lafia, the state capital.
Mr. Labaran Maku, candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, had filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the declaration of Governor Al-Makura in the April 11, 2015 governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The governor, through his counsel, Yusuf Ali, SAN, had closed his defence after fielding only two witnesses, just as the second respondent, the APC, also closed its own after equally presenting two witnesses.
This turnout of event was said to have sent jitters into the camp of the petitioner, Mr. Maku, whose legal team was waiting to build their case on the flaws of the respondents’ witnesses who were earlier billed to present over 50 witnesses.
One of the counsels in Governor Almakura’s legal team, Barr Matthew Burkaa, said having failed to prove the allegations raised in his petition before the tribunal, it was safer to present only a few witnesses in situations where there is need for clarification by the respondent.
He maintained that the onus of proof rests on the petitioner and having failed to do that it would amount to a technical suicide to go on presenting witnesses when there is nothing to prove.