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Election Tribunal adjourns LP hearing to May 19

A gavel. Photo: Archive/Radio Nigeria

The Presidential Election Petitions Court has adjourned until Friday May 19, for continuation of pre-hearing in the petition against the President-elect, Bola Tinubu by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

When the matter came up for hearing, Counsel for the LP, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu informed the court that the scheduled meeting to agree on documents to be tendered for hearing had not yielded results as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had only made available 30% of the documents required from them.

Counsel to the respondents said counsel for the petitioners walked out on them at the meeting and that only documents certified by INEC would be accepted by them.

Following the failure of the parties in the petition to agree on documents among other reasons, the 5-Man Panel of Justices, led by Haruna Tsammani adjourned the matter.

Reacting after the proceeding, the Lead Counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu argued that INEC should stop parading itself as a political candidate adding that the money that was required of them to pay for the inspection of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System was exorbitant.

Meanwhile, the factional National Chairman of the Labour Party, Alhaji Lamidi Apapa advised the Presidential Candidate of the Party, Mr Peter Obi to obey the rule of law, saying it was wrong of him to accord respect to Mr Julius Abure in-spite of the order of the court that suspended him as the Chairman of the Party.

LP factions clash at resumed tribunal hearing
Lamidi Apapa and factional excos. Photo: Ifeoma Nwovu/Radio Nigeria.

Earlier, there was tension at the Court of Appeal premises, venue of the Presidential Election Petition Court as two factions of the Labour Party, LP clashed, shortly after proceedings.

The commotion started when journalists were about to conduct an interview with the factional Chairman of the Labour Party, Lamidi Apapa, but were met with stiff resistance from loyalists of Julius Abure, another factional leader of the Party.

The faction loyal to Abure shouted and dragged Apapa screaming that he must not talk, and that he was an impostor and a thief.

The Lamidi Apapa-led faction of the LP questioned why members of the party loyal to the Julius Abure were in the court.

They insisted that the ruling of a High Court of the FCT, suspending the Abure-led faction must be obeyed, and that they had no business being there.

Apapa was later taken into protective custody by the police.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu