After calling seven witnesses, Buhari, APC close defence at tribunal
President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday closed their defence in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP and Atiku are by their petition challenging the victory of Buhari and the APC in the February 23, 2019 poll.
Buhari had opened his defence at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday and had called seven witnesses between then and Wednesday.
He was to continue his defence on Thursday.
But shortly after the matter was called today, the President’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), announced to the five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba that his team was satisfied with the seven witnesses they had led.
When the tribunal sought the reaction of the APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), whom it was his turn to open his client’s defence, he said he and members of his team also found it unnecessary to call any witness.
That the APC will not be involved in any other overkill exercise on the matter
He therefore announced that they are satisfied with the case as they opened and closed their case as the 3rd Respondent without presenting any evidence or witness.
He however announced that they wish to begin submitting written final addresses in court on Monday 5th August, 2019.
This request was supported by all the parties in the case including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dr. Livy Uzoukwu of the PDP and Atiku/Obi, while agreeing to the request, thanked the Buhari and the APC for not wasting the time of the court and that of the petitioners on the matter since the issue before the court is clear and further requested that the petitioners be given seven days for their own submission of final written addresses.
INEC which is the first respondent did not also call any witness or tender any document.
In all, there were seven defence witnesses against the 62 called by the petitioners.
It should be recalled that a retired Army officer, Rafa, who was one of the witnesses called by President Buhari, on Tuesday debunked his claim that his credentials were taken from him during recruitment. The General told the Court m that it was not true that their academic credentials were taken from them during recruitment.