The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja granted President Bola Tinubu’s request to begin his defense against petitions seeking to invalidate his election.
President Tinubu’s legal team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, submitted the application immediately after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concluded its defense on Monday. INEC presented a single witness in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The witness, Mr. Lawrence Bayode, a Deputy Director of ICT at INEC, testified and tendered documentary exhibits, including a withdrawal letter from Vice President Kashim Shettima, which were admitted as evidence. During cross-examination, the witness affirmed that the presidential election was conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act, dismissing claims of electronic collation and stating that results were manually collated.
The witness also acknowledged the European Union’s accreditation by INEC to monitor the election but stated that he had not personally seen their final report.
After the witness’s testimony, INEC’s lawyer announced that they would not present any further witnesses in the case.