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Atiku tenders 118 exhibits, Obi opens case at Election Petition Court

Team of lawyers for Labour party and its candidate. Photo: Ifeoma Nwovu/Radio Nigeria

Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party has presented 118 exhibits before the Presidential Election Petition Court as evidence to support his case against President Bola Tinubu.

Following Tinubu’s victory and declaration as the winner of the February 25 election, Atiku, along with the PDP, approached the tribunal, challenging the legitimacy of Tinubu’s win on various grounds.

President Tinubu was sworn in as president on May 29.

One of the allegations made by the petitioners is that Tinubu “was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.” They also argue that the president “was at the time of the election, not qualified to contest.”

Atiku, represented by his lawyer Eyitayo Jegede, submitted the first batch of exhibits before the court. The documents presented include certified copies of the presidential election results from all 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT).

Additionally, the petitioners tendered printouts of data obtained from the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS), along with a record of the number of permanent voter cards (PVC) used during the election across all 36 states and the FCT. These exhibits were admitted as evidence by the court.

Labour party opens case

The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, opened their petition against on Tuesday.

The Labour Party is expected to call just one witness.

The party had previously said it would call 50 witnesses to testify against the victory of Tinubu and will need seven weeks to get this done.

The witness who identified himself as Lawrence Nnanna Nwakaeti, said he hails from Ihiala, Anambra State and admitted that on the 20th of March 2023 he deposed a witness statement, which he adopted as his evidence.

Before, the witness testified, Counsel for the Petitioner, Mr Jibril Okutepa had tendered a judgment of a District Court in the United States on the alleged $460,000 forfeited by Tinubu for drug related offences.

Under cross examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun, who stood for President Tinubu, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.

The Anambra based legal practitioner also admitted that there was no certificate from any Consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment.

He alleged to have been to the United States of America and read the judgment in its entirety adding that he will be surprised if no mention was made of the $460,000 forfeiture.

Also, under cross examination by counsel for the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, the witness denied knowledge of a February 4, 2003 Formal Clearance Report by Legal Attaché from American Embassy in respect to the alleged indictment and forfeiture.

The Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani therefore admitted in evidence, the United States of America, District Court judgment which reportedly indicted Bola Tinubu in drug related offences.

Justice Tsammani adjourned the hearing in the petition until Wednesday 31st May.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Julian Osamoto, Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu