PEPC: PDP, LP, APM Petitions to be heard as One And Tinubu, INEC to Defend Victory in 5 Days

…..Court asked Tinubu, APC to defend suit in 5 Days


From Victor Osula, Abuja



The petitions filed by the presidential candidates of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP, and the Allied Peoples’ Movement, APM, will now be heard as one.

This as a result of the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, to consolidate the petition during  the pre-hearing report on three different petitions seeking to nullify the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

The court also presented the trial schedule.

The chairman of the five-man panel of the court, Justice Haruna Tsammani, read the pre-hearing report which included the declaration of the court’s decision to consolidate all the petitions to be heard as one.

Consequently, Tsammani announced that the hearing of the petition would commence on May 30, 2023.

According to him, the court will prepare for the judgement after the adoption of written addresses on 5 August, 2023.

This was made known when the petition of the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi was called, and he was thereafter given six weeks to call 50 witnesses as requested and prove hid case against Tinubu’s election within six weeks.

The Court also said in order to ensure a speedy hearing of the petitions, there would be no oral examination of witnesses and that the adoption of witness statements would be required.

For star or expert witnesses, the court also said 30 minutes should be used for evidence in chief, while 20 minutes will be for cross-examination and five minutes for re-examination.

Counsel to Tinubu and APC, Akin Olujimi, SAN, had opposed the move, citing Section 50 of the Electoral Act on consolidation of suit.

But ruling on its motion on Tuesday, the court led by Justice Tsammani, dismissed the objection of the APC and Tinubu, while moving to consolidate the three surviving petitions.

The Court said that it arrived at the decision because of the limited time within which the petition must be disposed off.

Justice Tsammani also ordered the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to defend his victory at the election along with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within five days.

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