Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked for three weeks to call 100 witnesses to support his case against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, in his challenge of the results of the presidential election that was held on February 25.
Atiku and his party revealed on Saturday that among the witnesses he has lined up to testify in the case are experts and people he will ask the court to compel to mount the witness stand during the resumed proceedings before the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja.
“The issues are becoming more focused, therefore we might not even use up the three weeks”, said Atiku’s lawyer. Uche SAN.
While the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, through its lawyer, Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, told the court that it would only call two witnesses, the President-elect, Tinubu, said he would only need two days to deflate Atiku’s case.
Mr. Roland Otaro, SAN, Tinubu’s lead counsel at the proceedings, further said that his client would invite 39 witnesses to testify before the court, in addition to any further people he might seek to have subpoenaed to appear.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, represented by Mr. Solomon Umoh, SAN, said that in order to call 39 witnesses before the court, it would also require two days.
In their combined petition, titled CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP ask the court, among other things, to revoke the Certificate of Return that INEC granted to the President-elect.
According to the petitioners, Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election even though “the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 were not complied with.”
They further argued that Tinubu’s election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices, insisting that he was not duly elected by a majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
As the candidate with the second-highest percentage of valid votes cast in the election, Atiku further prayed the court to declare him the winner of the presidential election.