Tribunal Orders Tinubu To Open Defence In Peter Obi’s Petition, July 5

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The Presidential Election Petition Court on Tuesday in Abuja ordered President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to open his defence in a petition by the Labour Party LP and its presidential candidate, Mr Peter Gregory Obi instituted against his declaration as winner of the February 25 presidential election.

Tinubu was on March 1, 2023, declared the winner of the disputed election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The order of the Court followed INEC’S dramatic decision on Tuesday to terminate its defence in Obi’s petition after calling only one witness and tendering four documents.

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Although the electoral body had informed the Court of the decision to justify the conduct of the poll with three witnesses, its lead counsel, Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud suddenly announced the closure of INEC’s defence at Tuesday’s proceedings.

Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, told the Court that his client is fully ready to kick-start his defence on July 5 with his witnesses and documents to justify the victory in the presidential election.

At Tuesday’s proceedings, INEC’S witness, Dr Lawrence Bayode admitted that the electoral body suffered glitches during the presidential election but maintained that the glitches did not in any way affect the conduct of the election, collation of results and declaration of final results.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Meets NSA, Service Chiefs At State House

On the allegations of blurred result sheets on INEC’S portal, the Deputy Director of Information and Communication said clear result sheets can still be obtained on request by those in need of them.

Meanwhile, further hearing in the petition has been shifted to July 5 by the Court.

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