The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has said it would not call on any witness to defend the petition the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, filed to reject the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 presidential election.
The Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel tribunal ordered the electoral body to open its defence to the petition 10 days ago.
The panel gave INEC six days to bring its witnesses and provide proof, however, as proceeding continued today, INEC, through its lead counsel, Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, told the tribunal that there was no defence.
However, when proceeding resumed on Monday, INEC, through its lead counsel, Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, told the tribunal that it had no defence.
Yunus said, “My lords, we have painstakingly reviewed the evidence of the petitioners’ witnesses and also painstakingly studied petitioners’ witness evidence under cross-examination, which supports our defence and denial in consonance with our pleadings.
“We do not see the need to waste the time of the tribunal in repeating the same thing.
“In the circumstance, we will not call any witness to help them prove their case. We therefore rely on the petitioner’s witnesses under cross-examination”
“In view of this development, the 2nd respondent will most honourably be asking that we kick-start calling our witnesses by 2pm tomorrow. We assure the tribunal that when we start, we won’t ask for an adjournment.”
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