President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, earlier today at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) announced the decision to close their case against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Chief Olanipekun had on Tuesday and Wednesday presented their witnesses to prove that Buhari was eligible to contest the February 23, 2019 Presidential Election.
Buhari’s lawyer told the Justice Garba Mohammed-led PEPT that they were satisfied with the details already presented before the tribunal.
“We have studied the hardware and the software of the petition: the evidences presented by the petitioners vis-a-vis the issues arising and the evidences we have also adduced. We are very satisfied with the evidences we have led and we will be closing our case,” President Buhari’s lawyer, Olanikpekun, said.
Naija Buzz News had published about the controversy surrounding the eligibility of President Buhari to contest the poll. PDP candidate Atiku had in part of his petition against the victory of President Buhari at the poll alleged that he (Buhari) was not qualified to contest the election.
The former vice president called over 60 witnesses out of the 400 earlier proposed due to the number of days (10 days) allotted by the tribunal to present his case.
The tribunal also gave the three respondents; INEC, Buhari and APC six days each to respond to Atiku’s petition.
INEC responded in one day, saying that Atiku’s witnesses were in support of its case. Buhari opened his defence on Tuesday and presented 6 witnesses who tried to prove that he (Buhari) possesses the minimum requirement to contest. And finally APC decided to close its case, saying that the cross-examinations so far were good enough to support its case.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) just like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) noted that the evidences presented by the petitioner (PDP & Atiku) supported its case.
“Normally it is the turn of the third respondent to open our case. I have thought about it. If I am grateful to chief Olanipekun, I am entirely grateful to the petitioners. With respect, having reviewed our petition, there is no point to indulge in an overkill exercise,” APC lawyer, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said.
“For the third respondents, we are satisfied with the cross-examination and evidences tendered in this case. As the leader, I announce the closure of the third respondent’s case,” he added.
Atiku had rejected the election results announced by INEC following the February 23 election. According to the PDP candidate, he won the election with over 1.6million votes based on the results he obtained from the central server of the electoral umpire.
We reported everything you need to know on the legal battle between Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari at the PEPT over the outcome of the 2019 presidential poll.
Jonathan Dennis is an Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He oversees the production and publication of stories on NaijaBuzz.News and on Naija Buzz News TV. The former banker left his banking job to join Naija Buzz News in 2019. He was briefly the head of the “Wetin Dey Happen” news team. Jonathan is a proud ‘Akwa-Ibomite’ from Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.