Petition against Tinubu in the presidential election: Peter Obi closes case

by Amos Kalu
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The petition filed by Peter Obi and his Labor Party, LP, challenging the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), was closed on Friday.

Obi and LP are the complainants in the CA/PEPC/03/2023 petition contesting the results of the general election that elected Tinubu as president of Nigeria on May 29.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are named as respondents in the petition.

The petitioners had three weeks to present evidence in court supporting their case against the respondents.

As they were closing on Friday, they only called thirteen witnesses, despite having told the court they would call fifty witnesses to support their claims.

Livy Uzoukwu, SAN, the petitioners’ attorney, had earlier informed the court that Yunusa Tanko, their twelfth witness, was present to undergo cross-examination by the respondents.

Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, for INEC, Wole Olanipakun, SAN, for Tinubu and Shettima, and Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, for the APC served as counsel for the respondents.

Yunusa Tanko, a participant in the LP Situation Room, served as the twelve witnesses (PW12), who gave testimony and served as a conduit for the delivery of some documents.

The witness told the court during INEC’s cross-examination that the results they were given were mutilated and unreadable.

While there were 176,974 polling locations across the federation, Olanipekun asked him how many party agents his party had during the election. He replied, “Over 130,000,”

In addition, Tanko was questioned about what should happen to Atiku Abubakar, who had been ranked second, and what the court should do with the twelve states where LP had triumphed.

He claimed that he was contesting the election’s entire outcome because the IreV results are still being downloaded four months after the vote.

When Fagbemi questioned him about it, he responded that their expert had already presented evidence on the number of disputed votes.

The Federal High Court witness judgments for LP v. INEC, with file number FHC/ABJ/1454/2022, delivered on January 23, 2023, were submitted by the respondents.

Peter Yari, PW 13, an INEC ad hoc employee, also testified in court.

After PW13’s testimony, the petitioners’ attorney, Uzoukwu, informed the court that their case is being dismissed.

The respondents requested that the court give them until the following week so that they could return home to celebrate the upcoming Sallah with their families before returning on July 3 to present their case.

According to NAN, the five-member panel chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned until July 3 so that the respondents could present their case.

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