In a pivotal development at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, it has been revealed that the tribunal rejected ten out of the thirteen witnesses presented by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi. This decision significantly impacts the ongoing proceedings related to Obi’s petition.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, presiding over the tribunal, made this announcement on Wednesday during the delivery of judgment on the substantive petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP).
Justice Tsammani clarified that Peter Obi had called a total of thirteen witnesses, who testified as PW1 to PW13. However, he highlighted a crucial distinction among these witnesses.
Of the thirteen witnesses, Justice Tsammani noted that only three of them had submitted statements on oath that were filed along with the initial petition. The remaining ten witnesses had been subpoenaed, and their witness statements on oath were only filed after the commencement of the tribunal’s proceedings.
The tribunal’s ruling hinged on legal provisions, including section 285 of the Nigerian constitution and section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022. According to these provisions and others, every witness statement on oath must be submitted alongside the petition.
This decision underscores the importance of adhering to procedural requirements and timelines in legal matters, particularly in election-related disputes. It highlights the significance of transparency and legal standards in the electoral process.
As the tribunal proceedings continue, the rejection of these ten witnesses will undoubtedly influence the direction and outcome of Peter Obi’s petition. The decision reaffirms the tribunal’s commitment to upholding legal standards and ensuring that all parties adhere to established procedures in the pursuit of justice.