Presidential Election Petition court has berated the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for exhibiting a lack of preparedness in the petition filed against the victory of President Bola Tinubu.
Gatekeepers News reports that one of the senior lawyers in the petitioners’ legal team, Emeka Okpoko, sought to tender electoral documents as exhibits before the court at the resumed court session on Thursday.
However, the documents were said to not have been properly filed and scheduled before the court.
Consequently, the Tribunal stepped down the hearing for 10 minutes and asked the legal team to re-file the schedule of documents in line with the provisions of the pre-hearing report.
Despite this, after the court reconvened, the petitioners’ legal team still seemed uncoordinated.
Displeased, Justice Haruna Tsammani, who led a five-member panel of the court, advised the petitioners to seek an adjournment to enable them properly arrange their documents.
One of the justices said, “What we have done today is a waste of time. I think you underrated the kind of job you have to do.”
In response, another senior lawyer in the petitioners’ team, Awa Kalu said they won’t be taking the adjournment suggested by the court.
Kalu said, “I took an adjournment yesterday and I would not like to do that today.”
Issues were later resolved and the petitioners tendered electoral documents (form EC8As) from six states.
The states include Rivers (15 LGAs), Benue (23 LGAs), Cross River (18 LGAs), Niger (21 LGAs), Osun (20 LGAs) and Ekiti (16 LGAs).
In the petition filed by Obi and the Labour Party, a total of 83 witnesses would be called by both the petitioners and the respondents.
The petitioners indicated that they would call 50 witnesses, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed five witnesses, Tinubu and Shettima listed 21 witnesses and the APC listed seven witnesses.
The Tribunal fixed May 30 to June 23 for Obi and LP to prove their case, June 24 to June 29 for INEC, and June 30 to July 5 for Tinubu and Shettima, while the APC would present its case between July 6 to July 10.
Meanwhile, August 5 is fixed for the adoption of final addresses.
So far, only one witness has been called by the petitioners.