Petitions against Tinubu: Atiku, Obi get 6 weeks to call 150 witnesses

Presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the February 25, 2023, poll, alongside his Labour Party, LP, counterpart, Mr. Peter Obi and their political parties, have been granted six weeks, three weeks each by the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja, to call their witnesses.

Atiku Abubakar has three weeks to call his 100 witnesses, while Peter Obi was granted three weeks also to call his 50 witnesses.

They are in their respective petitions, challenging the declaration of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the winner of the poll.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Atiku is contending in his petition, that the President-elect had “demonstrated inconsistency as to his actual date of birth, secondary schools he attended (Government College Ibadan); his State of origin, gender, actual name; certificates evidencing Universities attended (Chicago State University).

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“The purported degree Certificate of the 2nd Respondent allegedly acquired at the Chicago State University did not belong to him but to a female (F) described as “F” in the Certificate bearing the name Bola Tinubu.
“The 2nd Respondent did not disclose to the 1st Respondent (INEC) his voluntary acquisition of the citizenship of Republic of Guinea with Guinean Passport No. D00001551, in addition to his Nigerian citizenship. The 2nd Respondent is hereby given notice to produce the original copies of his said two passports.
“Tinubu has record of criminal forfeiture of the sun of $460, 000. 00 for the drug related offence before the United States Judge, John A Nordberg in the 2nd Respondent’s First Heritage Account No. 263226700, being proceeds of narcotics-trafficking in violation of 18 U. S. C 1956 and 1947 for an offence involving narcotics.”

Peter Obi

On his part, Obi is praying the court to declare that the President-elect, Tinubu, was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.

He also wants the court to declare that since Tinubu was not duly elected by majority of the lawful votes cast in the election, therefore, his return as the winner of the presidential election, was unlawful, unconstitutional and of no effect whatsoever.

According to him, “That it be determined that based on the valid votes cast at the presidential election of February 25, 2023, the 1st Petitioner scored the highest number of votes cast at the election and not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja, and ought to be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election.

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“An order directing the 1st Respondent to issue the Certificate of Return to the 1st Petitioner as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“That it be determined that the Certificate of Return wrongly issued to the 2nd Respondent by the 1st Respondent is null and void and be set aside.”

Aswaju Bola Tinubu

Meanwhile, at the resumed hearing in the matter on Tuesday, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel, in its finding, noted that a total of 166 witnesses would be called to testify in the matter.
It said that star witnesses in the petition would only be allowed to adopt their written depositions make oral submissions and identify documents where it is required.

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Justice Stephen Adah, who read the finding, call the attention of parties to the fact that Atiku’s petition had been merged with the one that was filed by candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi and the one that was filed by the Allied Peoples Movement, APM.
The court held that consolidation of the three petitions would ensure justice in the matter, adding that the parties would adopt their final briefs of argument to enable it to fix a date for judgment.

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