Election Tribunal: Atiku, PDP Set To Present 400 Witnesses
The Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that they are ready to present 400 witnesses to prove that the party defeated the All Progressives Congress and its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, at the February 23 election.
The opposition party has 14 days to tender all documents they need to prove their case.
The Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man tribunal said the 14 days period is prescribed under paragraph 16(3) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.
The lead counsel for the petitioners, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), said as much as his clients had proposed 400 witnesses, they “intend to call as many witnesses as possible within the prescribed time”.
Uzoukwu also informed the tribunal that counsel representing the various parties in the case had also agreed that “we will tender and reserve objection till final addresses”.
“What we have not agreed on yet is whether we will be given opportunity or isolate the preliminary objection from the main address.”
“We are also not too sure on the length of time of cross-examination.”
Justice Garba said, the length of time for cross-examination “will be dependent on the circumstances and facts”, particularly the number of witnesses parties to the case intended to call.”
“But we shall set a template for cross-examination which will not be sacrosanct.”
“Like I said it will be dependent on the circumstances.”
Uzoukwu later applied for a 30-minutes stand-down, to enable parties to the case to resolve on other issues that would arise during the substantive hearing of the petition.
The tribunal granted the application.