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Tinubu, INEC to open defence July 3 at presidential poll tribunal

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will next week open their defence in the petition challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.


Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes in the election to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had 6,984,520, and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) who polled 6,101,533.



Subsequently, Obi, Atiku and their parties filed petitions before the tribunal.


The Allied Peoples Movement (APM) also filed a petition and closed its case after calling one witness on Wednesday.



While Atiku and the PDP closed their case after calling 27 witnesses, Obi and the LP presented 13 witnesses before closing their case on Friday.



At the last tribunal session, counsel to all the parties told the court that instead of opening defence on June 31, as stated in the pre-hearing schedule, they had agreed that it was better to adjourn further hearing until after the Muslim holiday.



“My lords, all of us took into consideration some salient factors, especially the fact that some of us will love to travel to celebrate with our families and loved ones,” Wole Olanipekun, counsel to President Tinubu, said.



“Moreover, there is likely to be a two-day public holiday next week (this week). We will, therefore, plead your lordships to adjourn the case till after the Sallah celebration.



“We also want to assure your lordships that on our part, we will not exceed the days allotted to us.



“We will start and close our case the same week.”



The five-member panel of justices, led by Justice Harunna Tsammani, granted the request and adjourned to July 3 for continuation.



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is expected to open its defence first.


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