The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, began their petition against President Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by presenting one witness out of the proposed 50.
Prior to the witness, a lawyer from Anambra testifying, Peter Obi’s counsel, Jibrin Okutepa, submitted a judgment from a United States district court that allegedly indicted Tinubu and ordered the forfeiture of $460,000 in drug-related offenses.
The Presidential Election Petitions Court reconvened after a week on Tuesday to commence the definitive hearing in the petitions filed by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), along with their respective parties, challenging Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.
The hearing began with Okutepa leading the evidence, and a lawyer from Anambra and LP’s witness, Lawrence Nwakaeti, presented the certified true copy of the US district court judgment.
During cross-examination, Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, stated that the witness acknowledged that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.
The lawyer also confirmed that there was no certificate from any consulate in Nigeria or America supporting the judgment but argued that the judgment speaks for itself.
He claimed to have read the entire judgment in America and expressed surprise if there was no mention of the $460,000 forfeiture.
Under cross-examination by APC’s counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, the witness stated that the American court judgment did not include a certificate issued by any American police officer.
The witness denied knowledge of a formal clearance report dated February 4, 2003, by a legal attaché from the American embassy regarding the alleged indictment and forfeiture.
The court subsequently admitted the report as evidence.
Atiku Abubakar and the PDP’s counsel, Eyitayo Jegede, presented all exhibits, including INEC-certified true copies of the declaration of results, a summary of results, a printout of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) reports for each polling unit in the 36 states, and the number of PVCs collected in all states, including the FCT.
The court also adjourned the hearing of the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) petition until June 2 to allow time to review the certified true copy of the Supreme Court judgment issued on May 26 regarding the controversy surrounding Vice President Kashim Shettima’s “double nomination” and how it relates to their petition.
Among those present in court to witness the day’s proceedings was LP’s Peter Obi, while his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, and former Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, attended for the first time.
Senior lawyers representing various parties were also engaged in discussions before sitting in the fully occupied courtroom.