Presidential Tribunal: PDP’s Petition Stalled Over Unsorted Documents

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The joint petition by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar came to a premature end on Tuesday, over the presentation of unsorted documents before the Presidential Elections Petition Court.

The parties are challenging the outcome of the February 25 election wherein Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress emerged as the elected president as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Respondents in the suit are INEC, the president, Tinubu, and his party, the All Progressives Congress.

During the resumed hearing in the matter, the lead counsel for the PDP, Chris Uche SAN, tendered the certified true copies of the INEC voters register for FCT in 14 batches.

The court admitted them as evidence and reserved ruling on the objections by the respondents.

They also sought to tender form EC8A series, that is, polling units results beginning from Abia state but the court dismissed the move.

According to the court, the documents were not properly sorted.

In his defence, counsel for the PDP, Chris Uche SAN told the PEPC that it was difficult to get electoral materials including Form EC8As from INEC on time.

He asked the court to admit the documents in evidence pending the proper numbering by lawyers to parties and the court registry after the close of the day’s proceedings.

He added that INEC should have properly arranged the documents before bringing them to court in line with a subpoena issued to the electoral umpire.

But INEC’s lawyer, Kemi Pinero, disagreed with Uche’s position.

He said, after an election, it was incumbent on the parties to arrange the electoral documents given to them by the commission.

More so, he said that the documents sought to be tendered by the PDP were brought by INEC’s officials from across the country.

He also stated that despite producing the documents, the PDP had not paid for its certification.

In response to the back and forth, Justice Haruna Tsammani – led panel told Uche that it was the duty of his legal team to create a schedule of the documents after INEC had produced them through a subpoena.

After deliberations, the petitioners told the court that the legal team have agreed to take the documents back for arrangement and tendering by tomorrow, Wednesday.

After confirming the agreement of the respondents, the court adjourned the matter to June 21 for the continuation of the hearing.

The petitioners have less than a week to round up their petition against Tinubu.

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