The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), lead counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), AB Mahmoud, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has asked for adjournment as three witnesses of the commission were absent in court.
Recall that the respondents in the petition challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election were expected to open their defence today.
Both the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar closed their case on June 24 after presenting 27 witnesses and the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, also closed their case after calling 13 witnesses and presenting several electoral documents.
A week break, INEC was expected to present three witnesses beginning today to support its case that Tinubu was duly elected the winner of the 2023 election.
But at the resumed hearing, AB Mahmoud rose to seek adjournment because all his witnesses were not in court.
He said: “My lord this week is for the defence and we have three witnesses to present and we need three days but none of our witness is in court and I’m not sure if they are coming because I’ve not spoken to them yet. That is our unfortunate situation today and we would like to seek for an adjournment until tomorrow.”
But lead counsel to Peter Obi, Livy Uzoukwu, also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, responded: “With due respect my lord, I would have been happier if my learned colleague was sincere with me and told me earlier about his situation. Maybe he is afraid of all the boxes we have been bringing and the ones in front of him.”