Absence of witness stalls INEC’s defence opening

The Presidential Election Petition Court has adjourned hearing in the defence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to July 4, 2023, over the absence of its three witnesses in court on Monday.

Contrary to the scheduled activities of the Court, INEC, which was billed to open defence came to the court without any witness.

Its lead counsel and former President of the Nigeria Bar Association NBA, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmood SAN, informed the court of his plan to call three witnesses to counter the allegations of the Labour Party and its Presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

He said none of the witnesses was in court due to domestic reasons and pleaded as he applied for adjournment of his defense.

The lead counsel to Obi, Dr. Livy Uzuoku SAN, expressed shock and surprise with the conduct of the electoral body.

He told the court that the INEC lawyer ought to have taken him into confidence before the commencement of the proceedings.

Representative of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN; and Counsel to the All Progressives Congress, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, did not object to request for adjournment of INEC’s plea for the case to be shifted.

Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammami has fixed a new date of July 4 for INEC to take the floor.

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