The election petition tribunal set up for the presidential matters has chide both the Labour Party (LP) together with its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for displaying a lack of preparedness in the petition filed against the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The court had resumed hearing of Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu on Thursday following its adjournment of the proceedings on Wednesday.
The adjournment which was as result of the illness of two key staff witness of the petitioner, Mr Obi.
At the resumed court session on Thursday, one of the senior lawyers in the petitioners’ legal team, Emeka Okpoko, sought to tender electoral documents as exhibits before the court.
The documents, however, were said to not have been properly filed and scheduled before the court.
As a result of the misfiled documents, the court 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.
But after the court reconvened, the petitioners’ legal team still seemed uncoordinated.
Displeased, 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.
“What we have done today is a waste of time. I think you underrated the kind of job you have to do,” one of the justices said.
Responding, Awa Kalu, another senior lawyer in the petitioners’ team, said they won’t be taking the adjournment suggested by the court.
“I took an adjournment yesterday and I would not like to do that today,” Kalu said.
Issues were later resolved and the petitioners tendered electoral documents (form EC8As) from six states.
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 court 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.
August 5 is fixed for the adoption of final addresses. So far, only one witness has been called by the petitioners.