The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, presented the final results for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday.
The national document known as Form EC8D(a) was presented to the Presidential Election case Court by Paul Annanaba, SAN, on behalf of the party and Obi as part of the evidence in support of the case challenging the outcome of the February 25 elections.
The LP and its candidate, Peter Obi, are contesting the results of the presidential election, which were announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission to have been won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.
INEC, Tinubu, the vice-president, Kassim Shettima, and the APC are the first through fourth respondents in the suit.
On Wednesday, the respondents, through their legal representatives, unanimously agreed to the presentation of the national results for all states and the FCT.
The five-member panel of the PEPC, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, allowed the national document as evidence in Obi’s appeal after no objections from the respondents.
In the same development, the petitioners filed form EC8Cs from 13 states as evidence in support of their appeal against Tinubu’s return: Bayelsa, Benue, Cross-river, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Ekiti, and Delta.
The EC8C form is used to record election results at the local government level. This form contains the results recorded at the ward level. The respondents, however, all raised objections to the admissibility of the form EC8Cs through their lawyers. They told the court that the reasons for their objections would be explained in their final written addresses.
The forms, however, were brought into evidence and labelled as exhibits by the court. Following that, it postponed additional hearings on the petition until Thursday, June 8, 2023.
Objection to the PDP’s summoned witness
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party and its last election candidate, Atiku Abubakar, called their first subpoenaed witness on Wednesday at the Presidential Election Petition Court.
In a petition titled CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP are contesting the results of the presidential election that resulted in Tinubu’s election as president.
At the resumption of the hearing, Chris Uche, SAN, counsel for the PDP, informed the court that the petitioners are about to summon their first subpoenaed witness, an ad hoc employee of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, counsel for the respondents in the lawsuit, INEC, Tinubu, and the APC, objected to the witness testifying.
A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, counsel to INEC, stood to object to the witness’s hearing as soon as he reached the witness box and barely before he could take his oath.
He informed the court that he had only received the witness’s statement this morning and would have to review it in order to conduct a thorough cross-examination.
Tinubu’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi SAN, and the APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, both agreed and rejected the petitioners’ move.
In response, Uche maintained that there was nothing unusual in the witness’s statement that warranted an adjournment.
He urged with the court to enable at least one of the subpoenaed witnesses to spend their given time wisely.
Justice Tsammani, the head of the PEPC’s five-member panel, recommended that the trial be halted for 30 minutes to allow respondents to review the documents and thereby cross-examine the first subpoenaed witness.
However, INEC counsel claimed that the witness could not be called on Wednesday because the witness “is said to be an Ad-hoc staff of the Commission,” and as such, he would need to go and look at INEC’s records in order to properly prepare.
Following the respondents’ statements, Uche asked the court to delay until tomorrow, June 8, so that the three subpoenaed witnesses may be called.
Earlier, the PDP and Atiku invited their 11th witness, Anambra PDP Chairman Ndubuisi Nwobu, to testify in court.
During cross-examination by counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, the witness told the court that the results were challenged at lower levels before reaching the state level.
He went on to say that they compiled the results since they didn’t have any other options.
When asked if he included that in his sworn witness testimony, he stated that it was impossible to include all that occurred in the statement.
The hearing of the PDP and Atiku’s petition will also be continued on Thursday, June 8, 2023.