Presidential poll dispute: Atiku, PDP close case after calling 27 witnesses

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have closed their case challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu, before the election petition tribunal.

Although the petitioners had indicated that they would call about 100 witnesses to support their petition, the case was brought to an end on Friday after the 27th witness was called.

“My lords, at this point in time, may we humbly inform your lordships that this will be our last witness,” Chris Uche, Atiku’s lead counsel told the court.

“Having exhausted the days allocated to us, pursuant to the pre-hearing report and paragraph 46(5) of the first schedule to the electoral act, 2022, we most humbly apply to formally close the case for the petitioners.”

The 27th witness, Mike Ebah, tendered several documents including a BSc certificate from Chicago State University, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge certificate and Mobil Nigeria Oil Plc certificate of service, which carried the name “Bola Adekunle Tinubu”.

The witness also tendered forms EC13 and EC9 and the letters written to INEC as well as the commission’s response.

Asked under cross-examination if he inquired from the Guinean embassy whether the 2nd respondent (Tinubu) denounced his purported citizenship, the witness said it was unnecessary adding that Alpha Conde, president of Guinea, admitted to the issuance of the passport.

The witness also stated that he had in 2022, instituted a criminal complaint against Tinubu before a chief magistrate court in Abuja.

He told the tribunal that the chief magistrate court declined jurisdiction to entertain the case.

Dissatisfied, he wrote a petition to the chief judge of the federal capital territory.

Asked if he was aware that the Chicago State University had on June 27, 2022, issued a public notice stating that Tinubu attended the institution and graduated with honours, the witness, said he was not aware.

The panel admitted the said public notice from the Chicago State University in evidence.

The PDP also tendered certified true copies of forms EC8As collected from 25 LGAs in Delta, 13 LGAs in Ebonyi, 18 LGAs in Edo, 17 LGAs in Enugu 27 LGAs in Imo and 21 LGAs in Kogi.

Thereafter, the court adjourned to July 3 for INEC to open its defence.

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