The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) has rejected 10 out of the 13 witnesses presented by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, News About Nigeria reports.
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, delivered this ruling on Wednesday in the case between Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu.
Justice Tsammani clarified that Obi had called a total of 13 witnesses, who testified as PW1 to PW13. However, he noted that only three of these witnesses had filed their statements on oath along with the initial petition.
The remaining ten witnesses were subpoenaed and their witness statements on oath were submitted after the commencement of the hearing.
The judge emphasised that, according to the Nigerian constitution’s section 285 and the Electoral Act of 2022’s section 137(7), any witness statement on oath must be submitted along with the petition.
He further pointed out that once the 21-day window for filing an election petition has passed, the content of the petition cannot be amended, as per Supreme Court authority.
Tsammani explained that additional statements on oath cannot be filed after the specified window has closed, as this would deprive the respondents of the opportunity to respond adequately.
He alleged that despite being aware of these legal provisions, the petitioners proceeded to present ten witnesses without their witness statements on oath initially filed with the petition.
More details later….