LP Challenges Tinubu’s Victory In 18 States
Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, yesterday, said they are challenging the victory of Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 18 states.
This was disclosed at the hearing of their petition where the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) accused the legal team of “wasting the time of the tribunal” with their shoddy documentation of exhibits intended to be tendered in evidence. Specifically, Justice Haruna Tsammani, leading four others justices on the panel, described the conduct of counsel to the petitioners as “not being organised.”
The petitioners had on Wednesday sought an adjournment in their petition on the grounds that two members of their secretariat staff were ill.
Obi, who opened his case on Monday, called one witness who tendered five documents in evidence, including a United States District Court judgement on Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460,000 allegedly linked to drug trafficking.
However, proceedings in the petition resumed, yesterday, on a dramatic note when counsel in the legal team, said he would first tender INEC Forms EC8As for 23 Local Government Areas of Benue State. But the court drew his attention to the fact that his schedule of documents showed Forms EC8As for Benue State LGAs, but was not itemized according to polling units in line with rules of court.
In response, he started reading out the documents for the LGAs in Benue State when he was quickly advised that he should continue to tender documents LGA by LGA.
In addition, the panel recommended that the petitioners should put polling units results for the states serially LGAs by LGAs as they had three weeks timeline which would elapse before they are done.
It recommended that the petitioners should put polling unit results for the states serially according to the LGAs. The counsel then admitted that he had another informal schedule of documents that itemised the electoral documents for states and LGAs properly.
Subsequently, the court stood down proceedings for 10 minutes and directed Obi’s legal team to reproduce another formal schedule of documents and ensure they do not waste time unnecessarily.
The counsel looked back to a junior lawyer and repositioned again to tell the judges that for Rivers State they have only 16 LGAs to tender for now. His response did not go down well with the judges.
“The problem is your things are not properly organised,” Justice Tsammani said. The judge then advised the petitioners to seek adjournment to organise themselves.
“Learned silk, we are not trying to teach you your job. Why not take an adjournment, go back to your chambers and organise things. These your documents are not well prepared. This proceeding is not being properly conducted,” the judge said.
Lead counsel to the petitioners, thereafter informed the court that he intends to tender INEC Form EC8As from 15 LGAs of Rivers State.
Okoro then took over proceedings and tendered Form EC8As for Osun State (20 LGAs marked as PF1- PF20) and Ekiti State (16 LGAs marked as PG1- to PG16), INEC Form EC8As (for 16 LGAs) for River State, Benue(23 LGAs), Cross River State( 18 LGAs) and for Niger State but it was objected to by the respondents.
Culled from The Sun