By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, closed his defence against the candidate of the Labour Party(LP) Mr. Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively with one witness.
In evidence in chief, the Star witness, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele, submitted that votes President Tinubu got in Kano state was not properly recorded, insisting that there was a shortfall of about 10, 929 votes.
Led by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, the Lawmaker, who is also a lawyer said that many international bodies that sent observers to the country, including the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, filed a report after the election.
The witness who testified in both Obi and Atiku’s petition told the court that the ECOWAS report on the presidential election dated February 27, was signed by a former President of Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Ernest Koroma. The report was admitted as evidence.
Continuing his testimony, the witness, confirmed a letter the LP wrote to INEC on April 25, 2022, wherein it forwarded its membership Register as well as its list of members in Anambra State, to the Commission.
While being cross-examined by counsel for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the witness, who said he was the former Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary and currently the Majority Leader of the Senate, told the court that the list of membership the LP forwarded to INEC prior to the presidential election, did not contain Obi’s name.
Further in his testimonials, Senator posited that as an Attorney that practiced in USA since 1999, there could not be a criminal conviction against Tinubu, when no charge was filed against him.
In a counter move, counsel to the Petitioners, Dr. Uzoukwu, SAN, through the witness, tendered the final report of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria, which impugned the conduct and outcome of the 2023 general elections, which was admitted as evidence.
On Tinubu’s alleged involvement in drug related crime, the witness, maintained that contrary to the position of the Petitioners, he told the court that what was decided by the US Court was a civil proceeding and not a criminal forfeiture.
Meantime, Justice Haruna Tsamani led panel has directed the Respondents to within 10 days, file their final brief of argument, while it gave the Petitioners seven days to also file their own.
Also, upon receipt of the Petitioners’ process, the Respondents, should file their reply within five days.
Concluding, the court said the date for adoption of all the processes would be communicated to all the parties.