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Presidential tribunal adjourns INEC’s defence to July 4 over absence of witnesses

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday in Abuja began its defence of the February 25 presidential election on a shaky note, with none of its three witnesses present at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).

The court on June 23 fixed Monday, July 3 for respondents to open their case in defence of the petition filed by aggrieved parties challenging the outcome of the February 25 election wherein Bola Tinubu emerged as the president.

Contrary to the scheduled activities of the Court, INEC, which conducted the disputed election and billed to open defence, came to the court without any witness.

Its lead counsel and former President of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmood SAN, informed the court of his plan to call three witnesses to counter the allegations of the Labour Party (LP) and its Presidential candidate, Peter Gregory Obi

During the proceedings, counsel for INEC, A.B Mahmoud, SAN, informed the court that the witness who was scheduled to testify was unavoidably absent from the court.

He thereafter sought that the matter be moved to the next day.

However, lead counsel to Obi, Dr Livy Uzuoku SAN, expressed shock and surprise with the conduct of the electoral body.

He told the court that the INEC lawyer ought to have taken him into confidence before the commencement of the proceedings.

However, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, who stood for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and Prince Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi SAN, who represented the All Progressives Congress (APC), did not object to request for adjournment of INEC’s plea for the case to be shifted.

Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, subsequently fixed a new date of July 4 for the electoral body.

 

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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