The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal that it would not call any witness to defend the petition filed against it by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku and his party are challenging the outcome of February 23, 2019 presidential election which INEC declared was won by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress.
Atiku and his party had called 62 witnesses to prove his case against President Buhari’s victory in the election.
INEC, through its counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), when called by the tribunal to open its case said it would not be necessary on the grounds that the evidence extracted from the petitioners’ witnesses during cross-examination was in support of the commission’s case.
He said, “We have painstakingly reviewed the evidence of petitioners’ witnesses.
“We have also painstakingly studied the petitioners’ evidence under cross-examination, which supports our defence and our denial in consonance with our pleadings.
“My lords, we do not see the need to waste your lordship’s precious time by repeating what their witnesses have repeated under cross-examination.
“In that circumstance, we will not call any witness to help them prove their case. “We, therefore, rely on the evidence of their witness under cross-examination.”
APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said his decision on whether or not to call witnesses would depend on the case to be presented by Buhari’s legal team.
On his part, the petitioners’ lawyer, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), thanked INEC’s legal team for not calling witnesses.
“I profusely thank my brother and friend for deciding not to call any witness,” he said.
The tribunal sitting continues today.
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