The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has made a crucial ruling regarding the petition against President Bola Tinubu’s election. The court has decided to strike out the evidence provided by 10 out of the 13 witnesses summoned by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) in support of their petition.
The court’s judgment highlighted a key issue – these witnesses, who were called upon by the petitioners, failed to comply with the Electoral Act of 2022.
Specifically, their written statements containing crucial evidence were not submitted alongside or in advance of the petition, which is required within the 21-day timeframe stipulated by the Act.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, who is delivering the lead judgment, also ruled against the documents and analysis reports submitted by the petitioners through these 10 witnesses. Moreover, the court emphasized that some of these witnesses not only had vested interests in the case’s outcome but also presented reports that were generated while the case was still under consideration.
In another development, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has removed a copy of the European Union (EU) Election Observers Mission report on the previous presidential election from its records.
This action was taken in response to a petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP), where they tendered the document. The court’s decision was based on the fact that the petitioners obtained the document from the court’s registry, but it was originally produced by the EU mission and certified by a staff member who was not the original custodian.
Notably, Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had previously submitted the authentic copy of the report during their prosecution of the petition before the court.
Additionally, the court rejected 18088 blurred result sheets presented by the petitioners, as they were not linked to specific polling units, which the petitioners failed to specify in their case. The court found that the petitioners’ claim of being unable to identify the polling units due to the blurry sheets was false. It pointed out that one of the petitioners’ witnesses had produced a report analyzing the same results, which he claimed to have sourced from INEC’s results viewing platform.
Furthermore, the court highlighted that since the petitioners’ agents had signed for and collected copies of the result sheets, they could not legitimately claim ignorance of the affected polling units; instead, they chose not to specify these polling units in their petition.