Tribunal Lambasts Peter Obi, LP Over Unpreparedness In Case Against Tinubu

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In a recent court session, the Presidential Election Petition Court expressed strong disapproval of the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for their lack of preparedness in the petition filed against President Bola Tinubu’s victory.

Tribunal Lambasts Peter Obi, LP Over Unpreparedness In Case Against Tinubu  The court session, which took place on Thursday, witnessed a series of missteps from the petitioners’ legal team.

Emeka Okpoko, a senior lawyer representing the petitioners, attempted to submit electoral documents as exhibits before the court. However, it was discovered that these documents had not been properly filed and scheduled as required by the court.

Consequently, the court decided to suspend the hearing for a period of 10 minutes, urging the legal team to re-file the schedule of documents in accordance with the provisions outlined in the pre-hearing report.

Upon reconvening, the petitioners’ legal team continued to exhibit a lack of coordination, much to the dissatisfaction of the court.

Haruna Tsammani, the leader of the five-member panel presiding over the case, expressed disappointment and advised the petitioners to seek an adjournment, allowing them ample time to organize their documents properly.

One of the justices even commented, “What we have done today is a waste of time. I think you underrated the kind of job you have to do.”

However, Awa Kalu, another senior lawyer representing the petitioners, declined the court’s suggestion of an adjournment, stating that they had already taken one previously and did not wish to delay further.

Eventually, the issues were resolved, and the petitioners were able to tender electoral documents (from EC8As) from six states.

These states included Rivers with 15 Local Government Areas (LGAs), Benue with 23 LGAs, Cross River with 18 LGAs, Niger with 21 LGAs, Osun with 20 LGAs, and Ekiti with 16 LGAs.

In their petition, Obi and the Labour Party declared their intention to call a total of 83 witnesses, combining both petitioners and respondents.

The petitioners specified that they would summon 50 witnesses, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed five witnesses. President Bola Tinubu and Shettima each listed 21 witnesses, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) listed seven witnesses.

To facilitate the proceedings, the court scheduled the dates for presenting each party’s case. Obi and the Labour Party were allocated May 30 to June 23 to prove their case, followed by INEC from June 24 to June 29.

Tinubu and Shettima would present their case from June 30 to July 5, and the APC’s case would be heard between July 6 and July 10.

Finally, August 5 was set as the date for the adoption of final addresses. It is worth noting that thus far, only one witness has been called by the petitioners during the course of the proceedings.

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