Peter Obi and his Labour Party (LP) concluded their presentation of evidence before the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Friday. They had filed a petition marked CA/PEPC/03/2023 challenging the election victory of President Bola Tinubu, which took place on May 29.
The respondents named in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The petitioners were granted 21 days to substantiate their claims against the respondents in court. Initially planning to call 50 witnesses to support their case, they presented only 13 when they concluded on Friday.
During the proceedings, the petitioner’s counsel, Livy Uzoukwu SAN, informed the court that their 12th witness, Yunusa Tanko, was present and available for cross-examination by the respondents.
Yunusa Tanko, the 12th witness (PW12), testified as an LP’s Situation Room member and submitted several documents as evidence. When questioned by INEC, the witness stated that the results provided to them were tampered with and unreadable.
Mr. Olanipekun asked the witness about the number of party agents present during the election. The witness stated that there were over 130,000 party agents, corresponding to the 176,974 polling units nationwide.
Regarding the 12 states where LP emerged victorious and the position of Atiku Abubakar, who was declared the runner-up, Mr. Tanko expressed his challenge against the overall election results. He mentioned that even after four months, the results were still being downloaded from the IreV system.
When Mr. Fagbemi inquired about the absence of specific information on illegal votes, the witness claimed their expert had already provided evidence on the number of disputed ballots.
The respondents submitted judgments from the Federal High Court (FHC/ABJ/1454/2022) delivered on January 23, 2023, concerning LP vs. INEC. Additionally, they presented a Supreme Court judgment (SC/CV/501/2023) delivered on May 26, 2023, involving PDP, INEC, and three others. The petitioners challenged the admissibility of these documents, and their objections will be addressed in the final written addresses.
Following the testimony of Peter Yari, PW13, an ad-hoc staff of INEC, Mr. Uzoukwu informed the court that they were closing their case.
The respondents requested a week’s adjournment to celebrate the Sallah festival with their families and asked to return on July 3 to present their defense.
The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, adjourned the proceedings until July 3 for the respondents to present their case.