37 Witnesses Missing As Peter Obi, LP Rest Case Against Tinubu

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Mr Peter Obi and his Labour Party (LP) closed their petition at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Friday, without presenting 37 of the 50 witnesses promised.

Obi and LP are complainants in the petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023, challenging the election of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 25 February election.

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

The petitioners were given 21 days to prove their case against the respondents before the court.

But as they rested their case on Friday, only 13 witnesses testified. The remaining 37 did not show up.

Earlier, Counsel to the petitioners, Livy Uzoukwu SAN, informed the court that their 12th witness, Yunusa Tanko, was in court to be cross examined by the respondents.

Counsel to the respondents are Kemi Pinhero SAN for INEC, Wole Olanipekun SAN for Tinubu and Shettima, while Lateef Fagbemi SAN represented APC.

The 12th witness (PW12) was Yunusa Tanko, member of LP Situation Room, who testified and some documents were tendered through him.

Being cross examined by INEC, the witness told the court that the results given to them were mutilated and not readable.

When asked by Olanipekun how many party agents his party had during the election, he said over 130,000 while there were 176,974 polling units through the federation.

Tanko was also asked what he wanted the court to do with the 12 states where LP won and what would happen to Atiku Abubakar, who was declared 2nd.

He said that he was challenging the entire results of the election because after four months of the election, the results are still being downloaded from the IreV.

When asked by Fagbemi on why he did not provide the number of unlawful votes, he claimed that their expert had already given evidence on the number of disputed votes.

The respondents tendered through the witness judgments of Federal High Court, with FHC/ABJ/1454/2022, delivered on Jan. 23, 2023, concerning LP vs INEC.

Tendered also was a SC/CV/501/2023, Supreme Court judgment delivered on May 26, 2023, between PDP and INEC with three others.

The petitioners objected to the admissibility of the documents and reserved their reason in their final written addresses.

The court however admitted and marked the documents as exhibits.

Peter Yari, PW 13 , an adhoc staff of INEC, also gave his evidence.

Counsel for the petitioners, Uzoukwu after the testimony of PW13, informed the court that they are closing their case.

The respondents prayed the court to give them till next week to go home and celebrate the Sallah with their families and come back by July 3 to open their case.

The five-member panel presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned until July 3, for the respondents to open their case.

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