The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja has ruled that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must present his defence in a petition filed against his declaration as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
The petition was brought by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Mr Peter Gregory Obi.
The court’s decision came after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unexpectedly concluded its defence in Obi’s petition. INEC had initially planned to call three witnesses, but lead counsel Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud abruptly announced the closure of their defence during Tuesday’s proceedings.
Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, assured the court that his client is fully prepared to commence his defence on July 5. Olanipekun stated that they would present witnesses and documents to substantiate Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election.
During the proceedings, INEC’s witness, Dr Lawrence Bayode, acknowledged that the electoral body encountered technical glitches during the presidential election.
However, he maintained that these glitches did not impact the conduct of the election, the collation of results, or the declaration of the outcome.
Addressing allegations of blurred result sheets on INEC’s portal, Dr Bayode, the Deputy Director of Information and Communication, stated that clear result sheets can still be obtained upon request.
The court has scheduled the next hearing in the petition for July 5, providing President Tinubu with the opportunity to present his defence and address the allegations raised by the Labour Party and its candidate, Obi.