PEPC: Tinubu, APC, INEC object as Obi, LP tender more documents

Mr Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, who conducted the proceedings for the petitioners tendered Form EC8A from eight states.

Hearing of the petition of Mr Peter Obi and the Labour Party continued on Monday at the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC) with the petitioners tendering more documents in evidence even as counsels to Tinubu, APC and INEC objected to their admissibility.
Mr Patrick Ikwueto, SAN, who conducted the proceedings for the petitioners tendered Form EC8A from eight states.
The documents are certified true copies obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC)  for 13 local government areas of Ebonyi.
He also tendered form EC8A for 13 local government areas of Nasarawa, 25 of Delta, 33  of  Kaduna state and 21 local government areas of Kogi.
Others are form EC8As for 27 local government areas  of Imo, 18 for  Ondo and  7 for Sokoto state.
All the respondents objected to the admissibility of all the documents sought to be tendered and said they would give their reasons during the final address.
Earlier, Ikwueto,  prayed the court to take an application in which sought to  serve interrogatories on INEC.
Ikwueto said that the interrogatories contained 12 questions in which they sought answers from the commission.
BRANDPOWER reports that an interrogatory is a written question which is formally put to one party in a case by another party and which must be answered.
At the resumed hearing of the petition on Monday, Ikwueto told the court that the petitioners had a predicament which they needed to bring before the judges.
“On May 23, my lords issued a pre-hearing report directing proceedings of the court.
“Prior to this on May 22, we filed an application vide which we are seeking my lord’s leave to serve interrogatories on the 1st respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
“There are about 12 questions which we put down in that paper. We filed an application to be allowed to hear that motion outside the pre-hearing session.”
Responding, counsel to INEC, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN said that he was just served the motion and was still within time to respond.
He said that the motion was not ripe for hearing and that he would oppose the application adding that the application was just a waste of the court’s time as well as that of counsel.
Similarly, counsel to President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN and that of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN also said that they would oppose the application.
The petitioners, however, maintained that the application did not concern the other respondents, only INEC adding that the issues they sought to get answers to were germane to their petition.
Fagbemi also complained that the petitioners were disregarding the directive from the pre-hearing report and not serving counsel with their schedule of documents on time.
The Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani implored the petitioners to be “gentlemen” and not breach the terms of the pre-hearing report.
Ikwueto apologised to the court for what he described as an “obvious tardiness” and made a commitment that his team would follow the pre-hearing directive henceforth.
The court has adjourned hearing until Tuesday for the petitioners to continue with tendering of documents including forms EC8B and EC8C.(NAN)
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