The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has disclosed that it rejected 10 out of the 13 witnesses presented by Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, who assumed responsibility for delivering the judgment on the substantive petition filed by Obi and the Labour Party, made this announcement on Wednesday.
Tsammani explained that Obi had called 13 witnesses, identified as PW1 to PW13, but pointed out that only three witnesses, whose statements were sworn to, were included in the initial petition. The remaining 10 witnesses, according to the Justice, were summoned and their sworn statements were only submitted after the commencement of the hearings.
Tsammani emphasized that in accordance with the Nigerian constitution’s section 285, section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022, and other provisions, every sworn statement by a witness must be filed along with the petition.
He also cited a Supreme Court precedent, which states that once the 21-day period for filing an election petition has passed, the contents of the petition cannot be altered. Additionally, he noted that no supplementary sworn statements can be submitted after the specified filing window has closed, as it would not allow the respondents an opportunity to respond.
Tsammani mentioned that the petitioners were fully aware of the legal requirement regarding the submission of sworn witness statements but proceeded to present 10 witnesses without having their sworn statements filed alongside the initial petition.
Further details will be provided later.
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