Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate in the 2019 general elections, has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Monday that he and his party want to call 400 witnesses to prove their petition challenging the victory of President Buhari, and his All Progressives Congress, at the February 23 poll.
The process is expected to last 14 days. The Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man tribunal said the 14 days period is prescribed under paragraph 16(3) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.
In response, the lead counsel for the petitioners, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), said as much as his clients had proposed 400 witnesses, they “intend to call as many witnesses as possible within the prescribed time.
What we have not agreed on yet is whether we will be given opportunity or isolate the preliminary objection from the main address. We are also not too sure on the length of time of cross-examination.”
Justice Garba said the length of time for cross-examination “will be dependent on the circumstances and facts”, particularly the number of witnesses parties to the case intended to call. He added, “But we shall set a template for cross-examination which will not be sacrosanct. “Like I said it will be dependent on the circumstances.”
Uzoukwu later applied for a 30-minutes stand-down to enable parties to the case to resolve on other issues that would arise during the substantive hearing of the petition. The tribunal approved the application.
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