Tinubu closes defence in Obi’s petition with one witness

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, closed his defence to the petition that candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, filed to nullify his election victory.

Tinubu, through his team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, wrapped up his defence to the petition, after he presented one witness that testified before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja.

The witness, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele, in his evidence, maintained that votes President Tinubu got in Kano state at the end of the presidential election, was not properly recorded, insisting that there was a shortfall of about 10, 929 votes.

Senator Bamidele told the court that many international bodies that sent observers to the country, including the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, filed a report after the election.

He told the court that the ECOWAS report on the presidential election dated February 27, was signed by a former President of Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Ernest Koroma.

Despite objection by Obi’s lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, the Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel admitted the ECOWAS report in evidence and marked it as Exhibit RA-27.

Obi’s lawyer said his team would adduce reasons why they opposed the admissibility of the report, in their final written address.

Continuing his testimony, the witness, confirmed a letter the LP wrote to INEC on April 25, 2022, wherein it forwarded its membership Register as well as its list of members in Anambra State, to the Commission.

While being cross-examined by counsel for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the witness, who said he was the former Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary and currently the Majority Leader of the Senate, told the court that the list of membership the LP forwarded to INEC prior to the presidential election, did not contain Obi’s name.

He equally told the court that as an Attorney that practiced in USA since 1999, there could not be a criminal conviction against Tinubu, when no charge was filed against him.

The witness equally tendered original documents containing evidence of his membership of the New York Bar in the USA.

“As a longstanding associate of President Tinubu for over 25 years now, I know that he is a Nigerian citizen by birth,” the witness added.