The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Friday, closed his case before the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja.
Atiku and the PDP are challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), told the court that the decision of his client to close his case was in view of the fact that he had exhausted the days that were allocated to present his case against Tinubu.
Uche, who called a total of 27 witnesses and tendered several documentary exhibits in evidence before the court, said: “My lords, at this point in time, may we humbly inform your lordships that this will be our last witness.
“Having exhausted the days allocated to us, pursuant to the pre-hearing report and Paragraph 46(5) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2022, we most humbly apply the formally close the case for the petitioners.”
On its part, the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), told the court that all the parties earlier met and agreed to defer the opening of the defence by the Respondents till after the impending Sallah celebration.
Confirming the development, the head of President Tinubu’s legal team, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, begged the court to allow the Respondents, starting with INEC, to open their defence to Atiku’s petition, from July 3.
Following a no objection stance by counsel to the petitioners, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led panel adjourned the case till July 3 for INEC to open its defence to the petition.