Give me seven weeks to produce 50 witnesses, Obi tells tribunal
The candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election, Mr Peter Obi, on Saturday, demanded seven weeks to produce witnesses to establish his case at the Presidential Election Petition Court.
He also stated that he would present 50 witnesses that would testify and tender evidence to establish that the 2023 presidential election was rigged against him.
Obi disclosed this on Saturday during the proceedings on the petition he filed to challenge the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
Addressing the court through his team of lawyers led by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN, he noted that he was constrained in addition to a few hiccups he encountered at the Independent National Electoral Commission hence the request for seven weeks.
His counsel said, “My lords, we still have a few hiccups at INEC because of the order that was made by this court on March 8, directing them to allow us to carry out a forensic examination of the BVAS. They have not allowed us.
“We are also waiting for some documents we requested from them,” Prof. Kalu added.
His counsel also agreed that star witnesses would be given 30 minutes to present their evidence-in-chief, excluding the time for possible demonstration of any electronic evidence.
Obi’s lawyer also disclosed that parties agreed to use 20 minutes each to cross-examine the witnesses, another five minutes would be used for their re-examination, Vanguard reported.
But INEC, through its lawyer, Mr Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, said it had no agreement with either Obi or the LP on time to be allocated to the witnesses.
They also denied being aware of any hiccups being faced by the petitioners.
INEC, which is the 1st respondent in the matter, said it would need three days to present its two witnesses.
The President-elect, Tinubu, through his lawyer, Roland Otaru, SAN, said he would require nine days to call a total of 21 witnesses, excluding expert witnesses, to defend his election victory.
In the same way, counsel for the APC, Niyi Akintola, SAN, said the party would call only seven witnesses, excluding those to be subpoenaed, to testify in the matter.
The APC said it would require only nine days to defend Tinubu’s election, adding that Obi and the LP only frontloaded statements of only three witnesses.
Meanwhile, all the respondents stated they must be given 48 hours notice before any expert witness be brought to testify in the matter. (PUNCH)