Obi, Atiku get three weeks to prove case against Tinubu as Tribunal consolidates oppositions’ petition

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has given the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, three weeks to prove their case against the outcome of this year’s presidential election.

At a previous sitting, the legal team of the opposition party told the five-member panel of the Appeal Court that they will present 50 witnesses to prove their case against President-elect Bola Tinubu declared winner of the February 25 nationwide exercise.

They argue that Mr Tinubu did not met the constitutional requirements of being declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and will need seven weeks to prove it.

But on Tuesday, the panel gave the former Anambra governor three weeks to convince the tribunal, starting on May 30 and end June 23.

It also scrapped oral examination of witness but noted that witness statements will be adopted in order for a speedy hearing of the petition before it, in line with Section 41(3) of the 1st Schedule of the Electoral Act.

“For a star (or expert) witness, 30 minutes shall be used for evidence while 20 minutes will be for cross-examination and five minutes for re-examination,” the court ordered.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, was also handed three weeks, beginning from May 30 to June 20 to prove his case.

The Allied Peoples Movement (APM) was given one day to prove its case since they have only one witness to call, beginning on May 30 to end July 3 and is expected to close its evidence on June 6.

The First Respondent (INEC) was given two days, while the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Tinubu and APC) have five days.

Consolidates oppositions’ petitions

The Justice Haruna Tsammani-led panel also consolidated the petitions of the PDP, LP and APM and their candidates.

This was after directing parties on Saturday to look at the provisions of paragraph 50 of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act regarding the issue of consolidation.

The case was adjourned until May 30 for a full hearing. The Tribunal is also expected to sit all week, including Saturdays.