The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal announced that it rejected 10 out of the 13 witnesses presented by the Labour Party’s Presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, presiding over the judgment on Obi and LP’s substantive petition, made this statement on Wednesday.
Justice Tsammani explained that Obi had called 13 witnesses, identified as PW1 to PW13, but only three of them had their witness statements on oath filed along with the petition. The remaining 10 witnesses, he noted, were subpoenaed, and their witness statements on oath were only submitted after the hearing began.
He emphasized that according to the Nigerian constitution’s section 285, section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022, and other provisions, all witness statements on oath must be filed concurrently with the petition. He cited a Supreme Court precedent that states once the 21-day period for filing an election petition has passed, the content of the petition cannot be altered, and no additional statements on oath can be submitted after this window, as it would deny the respondents the chance to respond.
Justice Tsammani pointed out that the petitioners were aware of the legal requirement for filing witness statements on oath but still presented 10 witnesses without their statements on oath being filed with the petition initially.