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Tribunal: Tinubu, APC Close Defence In Petition Filed By Peter Obi, LP

Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), have closed their defense challenging the party’s victory in the 2023 Presidential elections by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi.

The President and his Vice through their counsel, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Wole Olanipekun, announced the closure of the defense against the petition on Wednesday, after calling one witness Mr. Mikel Bamidele who is the Senate Majority leader.

The counsel to APC, Lateef Fagbemi, who did not call any witness to defend his client’s election victory, also announced to the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) of his decision to close his case.

Fagbemi informed the court that he is satisfied with the evidence provided by the witness of the second respondent (Tinubu, Shettima) in defense of the 2023 Presidential election victory.

He said, “we have established our case from the witness of the second respondent. No need to call any witness.”

The Chairman of the Presidential Election Petition Panel, Justice Haruna Simon Tsamani, thereafter gave the respondents ten days within which to file their written addresses, while petitioners seven days to file theirs in accordance with the law.

Five days was allocated for reply by the respondents.

In an oral testimony, the newly elected Senate Majority Leader, Senator Michael Bamidele, who turned out to be President Tinubu’s sole witness, when re-examined by counsel to APC Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN), told the court that Obi’s name is not contained in the membership list of the LP submitted to the INEC.

The witness also told the court that the February 25 presidential election results for APC in Kano state were recorded with a shortfall of 10,292 votes against Tinubu.

During cross examination by counsel to Obi and LP, Dr Livy Uzoukwu, (SAN) who asked if the witness was aware of EU’s reports on the election, the witness agreed that, there is a report and it was tendered through him in evidence.

On whether the letter from the United States Embassy to the Nigeria Police, dated February 4, 2003 addresses issues of alleged criminal allegation against President Tinubu, the witness said the Nigeria police letter to the US requested for search for general Criminal records against President Tinubu and that therefore the US letter which cleared Tinubu of criminal conviction was an appropriate response


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