Presidential Tribunal: Buhari To Open Defence On Tuesday As INEC Closes Case Without Calling Witnesses

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President Muhammadu Buhari will, on Tuesday, open defence against the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar.

Counsel to Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) informed the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal that he will be calling witnesses from 2pm on Tuesday.

The lawyers had agreed during the pre-hearing modalities that the petitioners would take 10 days to conclude their submission, while the defence will take six days each.

The parties also agreed that they will spend five minutes to take evidence in chief from ordinary witnesses, while examination of expert and subpoenaed witnesses will take 20 minutes and any re-examination will take three minutes.

Buhari’s decision to immediately open his defence is sequel to INEC’s declaration that it will not be calling any witnesses in the matter because the PDP and Atiku have already established its case.

Although, INEC had initially proposed to call 84 witnesses, but its counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN) said there was no need to waste the precious time of the court since its case had already been established during the cross examination of PDP/Atiku’s witnesses.

“We have painstakingly reviewed evidence by petitioners’ witnesses,” Usman said.

“We painstakingly studied petitioners’ witnesses on that cross examination which supports our defence and denial in consonance with our pleadings.

“We do not see the need to waste your lordships precious time in repeating what their own witness have admitted.

“In consequence, we will not call any witness to help them for their case.

“We therefore, rely on the evidence of their witness under cross examination.”

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