PDP, Atiku get two hours to tender 118 cartons of documents
Written by admin on July 19, 2019
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja has rescinded its earlier decision to cancel the afternoon session of the Friday’s hearing to enable to the petitioners to conclude their case on the last of the 10 days allocated to them.
The petitioners are the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who are challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
About 118 cartons of documents produced by the Independent National Electoral Commission at the instance of the petitioners were lying in the court room waiting to be tendered by the petitioners, as of the time of filing this report.
The afternoon proceedings, when the petitioners will have the opportunity to tender the documents before the tribunal as exhibits, are likely to last for only two hours as it is usually the case in the previous proceedings.
At end of the morning session of the Friday’s proceedings, the petitioners had only been able to call 61 out of the 400 witnesses they proposed.
Justice Mohammed Garba who leads the five-man panel had at the beginning of the morning session of the Friday’s proceedings announced that the afternoon sitting would not hold.
The reason for the cancellation of the second half of the proceedings was not disclosed.
But while reversing the decision to cancel the afternoon session, Justice Garba said later that the afternoon hearing would go on to enable the petitioners to end their case.
The later decision might have overruled the petitioners’ earlier request for more time to conclude their case.
The petitioners had through their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), applied to the tribunal for more time to present their case in view of the documents that were only produced in the twilight of the 10 days allocated to them.
The documents contained in about 118 cartons counted by our correspondent were brought to the court between Thursday and Friday.
A number of the cartons were being brought into the courtroom while the proceedings were going on in the morning.
The tribunal had on Wednesday ordered the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and the Residential Electoral Commissioner of the electoral body in Zamfara State, following the complaints by the petitioners’ lawyers that the court’s subpoenas served on the INEC officials to produce the documents were not obeyed.