From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
The Governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Minna will today rule on an application to order the arrest of Colonel Sani Bello the father of the Niger state governor Abubakar Sani Bello and four others.
This application was over refusal to appear before it on the allegations of certificate and age falsification against the seating governor of the state as submitted to INEC during the last governorship election in Niger state.
Meanwhile, others are the former Registrar of the National Examination Council NECO Professor Promise Okpalla, the ag. Registrar Alhaji Abubakar Gana ,the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps NYSC as well as the Mokwa local government inclusive.
Consequently, the tribunal reserved ruling for today Thursday at its sitting yesterday sequel to an application by Mohammed Ndayako the counsel to the petitioners, PDP and it’s governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship candidate, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko
The petitioners counsel argued that the request was as a result of the refusal of those concerned to honour a subpoena issued on them to appear before the tribunal.
He said that Government agencies like NECO should ordinarily be worried that an examination body would sit back and watch it’s documents being forged, and refuse to come to court to protect the sanctity of their results or examination.
He said such bodies should jump at the opportunity provided by the tribunal to catch the suspects.
The governors father,Colonel Sani Bello rtd was to defend the age of his son while the former registrar of NECO and the incumbent are being asked to clarify the academic certificates tendered by governor Sani Bello and his deputy Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Ketso to the Independent National Electoral Commission before the election
In his response J.S. Okutepa SAN, representing the 1st respondent Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, objected to the application because the persons named were not served in person.
Okutepa also said the tribunal cannot issue the bench warrant on those concerned since they were not listed as witnesses in the petitioners’ petition before the tribunal
Chairman of the three man tribunal Justice John Igboji reserved ruling on the application till today Thursday June 20,2019 accordingly.
The PDP candidate in the March governorship election in the state Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko had dragged the victorious All Progressives Congress APC candidate Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello and his deputy Alhaji Ahmad Mohammad Ketso before the tribunal accusing them of falsifying the academic and birth certificates submitted to INEC and “gross violation of the electoral act” during the 2019 governorship poll.