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Witnesses absent in court as INEC begins defence of Tinubu’s victory

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun the defence of the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 polls. 

Presidential Election Petition Tribunal
Presidential Election Petition Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun the defence of the victory of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 polls. 

None of the three witnesses called by INEC showed up at the presidential election petition tribunal (PEPT).

The development stalled the court proceedings on Monday due to the absence of a witness.

Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) and his party filed a petition challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu who was APC’s candidate in the election.

Obi had raised issues, including that Tinubu did not win the election by a majority of lawful votes.

LP and Obi after presenting 13 witnesses closed their case on June 23.

The court directed the respondents to open their defence today, July 3.

Resuming the hearing, Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to the electoral umpire prayed the court for an adjournment.

Mahmoud cited that although they had three witnesses to call, none was in court.

He said the first witness had just informed him that he had a family emergency and could not attend court.

Livy Uzoukwu, counsel to the petitioner; Wole Olanipekun, Tinubu’s counsel; Lateef Fagbemi, counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC); did not oppose the request for adjournment.

Consequently, the Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel of the court adjourned the hearing until Tuesday.

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