Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has rejected 10 out of 13 witnesses presented by Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party. This decision, delivered by Justice Haruna Tsammani, came as a significant blow to Obi’s pursuit of electoral justice.
Justice Tsammani highlighted the crux of the matter, noting that out of the 13 witnesses called by Obi, only three had submitted their statements on oath along with the initial petition. The remaining 10 witnesses had been subpoenaed, and their witness statements on oath were filed after the commencement of the hearing.
The tribunal’s ruling hinged on legal provisions, including Section 285 of the Nigerian constitution and Section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022. These provisions explicitly require that every witness statement on oath be submitted simultaneously with the petition.
Additionally, the tribunal invoked the Supreme Court’s authority, emphasizing that once the 21-day window for filing an election petition has closed, the content of the petition cannot be amended, and no additional statements on oath can be admitted.
Justice Tsammani underscored the petitioners’ awareness of these legal provisions, yet they proceeded to present witnesses without their statements on oath initially filed with the petition.
Further details on this development are expected to emerge in due course.
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Bisina Somto is an entertainment journalist known for her compelling movie, music, and Reality TV show reviews.
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