The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) heard on Tuesday that the proceedings before a United States (US) court in respect of which President Bola Tinubu allegedly forfeited $460,000 was a civil forfeiture case.
A lawyer and first petitioners’ witness in the petition by the Labour Party (LP) and Peter Obi, Lawrence Uchechukwu Nnana Nwakaeti.
- NB: T/S is Tinubu/ Shettima counsel
- LP: Labour Party
- W is Witness
LP: I apply that the witness be recalled to the witness box. Witness is listed as Number 7 LUNN in our petition
Court: Is he a star witness?
LP: No he’s a moon witness (joke). He’s an ordinary witness
W: My name is LUNN (Abbreviated for Confidentiality)
LP: Where do you live
W: Ihiala Anambra state
LP: On 20th of March 2023 you deposed to a witness statement to this honourable court. Please identify it.
W: I can identify my deposition
LP: What do you want to do with it.
W: Before I continue I wish to ask to apply to amend at paragraph 10. I mistakenly inserted 14th July (not February) 2022.
LP: My Lords I hope you effect this corrections before we progress. I so apply
Court: Any objections?
Respondents: No objections
Court: In the absence of any opposition it is hereby amended.
W: I switch to adopt same as my evidence
LP: In Para 17 of witness disposition you referred to the proceedings of the US district courts. Are these the documents you referred to then?
W: Yes they are
LP: I apply to tender that document which has been listed at number 5, pages 2 to the last of exhibit BA. Witness referred to it in paragraph 17 of his deposition.
INEC: No objection
T/S: Yes. I will put it the objection with arguments in our final Address
APC: I am objecting but I’ll do so in my final address.
Court: Admitted and marked as exhibit
T/s: His time is up.
LP: In the interest of Justice, I just want the witness to just identify the do I’m and link it to his witness depositions
Please look at paragraph 7-11 of exh BA1 to BA4, are they the documents you referred to in your deposition?
LP: Thank you my Lord. I surrender him to cross examination
INEC: Witness, confirm to the court that you are a registered voter
W: I have my PVC and I voted on the 25th day of February, 2023
INEC: What’s your polling uni
W: Located in front of my house. Umuezala Village Square. That’s my polling unit
INEC: Will I be correct to say that you played no other role in the election
W: year of call is 13th October, 2000
INEC: Confirm to the court the books you have published on Electoral Law.
LP: I oppose as he didn’t mention that in his deposition
W: I’m a legal practitioner, not an author.
INEc: Confirm to the court if you have ever appeared to the CA or Supreme Court as an Amigus on any constitutional matter
INEC: please confirm that your statements in Para 4, 15, 16 & 17 of your deposition are the legal opinion you have formed on the exhibit you have identified.
W: They are not my legal opinion but matters of pure law
INEC: You said you’re from Amoca Community. Confirm to the court that there was crises
LP: I object because there is nothing related to this in his deposition. The sky is not the limit for cross examination.
Court: INEC what are you driving at?
INEC: I want to establish that he is a serial at causing crises. It is relevant for injuring his credibility in this election. He caused the crisis such that they have two presidents in the elections
T/S: Good Day my Learned friend. Did you prepare the statement and reached the conclusion or it was prepared for you?
W: I vetted it myself and I did not draw conclusion but I stated facts
T/S: been to US? When and where?
W: Been Once in 2003, in Michigan.
T/S: In para: 17 & 18 you stated emphatically that the 2nd respondent was fined 460k dollars in the US. Do you still stand by it?
W: Yes I do
T/S: I suggest to you that you have never read through exhibit P5 series
W: I read through the entire document
T/S: Will it surprised that it was never indicated that in this document you tendered that no word, paragraph, line and sentence referred to him being fined?
W: I will be surprised because he was fined & the document speaks for itself.
T/S: We argue that this documents are not registered in Nigeria. Are they?
W: No but allow me to explain
T/S: No certificate from either the consul of United States you PDP know that?
W: There are certificates
S: Is there a certificate issued by any consular in US or Nigeria?
W: No certificates from the consular
T/S: Lastly, you tendered exh P1-P4, judgement of the Supreme Court settles any matter. Is that right?
Court: Object to that question
APC: Do you have in Exh PA5 series, a certificate given under the hand of a police officer in the area where this occurred in the US?
W: None from the police
APC: Are you aware that a letter dated 6th of July, 2022, was written to the 1st respondent by the 4th respondent in respect to his nomination
W: I am not aware
APC: Are you aware of a formal clearance document dated 1st day of Feb, 2023?
W: Not aware
APC: You are aware that all the proceedings in exh B5 proceedings were civil?
W: Civil Forfeiture
APC: Do you have a copy of the charge?
W: I did not mention charge so I don’t have it.
LP: No re-examination my Lords