- The petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, against President-elect Bola Tinubu has stalled again
- The presidential election petition tribunal on Wednesday, May 17, did not hear the petition as earlier scheduled
- According to the election tribunal, the hearing will resume Obi's petition on Friday, May 19
As reported by Vanguard, the tribunal said it would revisit the petition after pronouncing an adjournment until Friday, May 19.
The tribunal made the decision following the failure of parties to agree on documents, among other reasons.
Meanwhile, proceedings at the Tribunal on Wednesday, May 17, were greeted with much controversy and argument when two factions of the Labour Party were present with their legal counsels seeking to be heard by the jurors.
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The national chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure and the factional chairman, Lamidi Apapa, were both present in the courtroom.
The jurors, however, decided not to entertain the legal counsel of the two factions except for Peter Obi, the party's presidential candidate.
The decision by the tribunal triggered a heated argument between both factions in the courtroom.
Tribunal refuses to hear legal counsel of LP factional chairman
As reported by Channels TV, the tribunal resorted to agreeing that it would not entertain the appearance of the counsel of Apapa, noting that if there is a situation of two appearances from the same party, they would not be put on record.
At the resumed hearing, counsel for Labour Party, Livy Uzoukwu, informed the court that the scheduled meeting to agree on documents to be tendered for a hearing hadn’t yielded many results as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has only made available 30% of the documents required from them.
2023 presidential election: BBC says INEC results show Peter Obi defeated Bola Tinubu in Rivers State
He added that this is contrary to the commitment by the INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, that all documents required shall be made available.
He added that the party has yet to get documents concerning Rivers State, where he said the Resident Electoral Commissioner said there are no forms EC8A available to be given but is yet to put that in writing despite the request to do so.
Counsel for INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, however, said he is taken aback by the allegations of the counsel for the Labour Party as they did not show up for the meeting as agreed and walked out of the rescheduled meeting.
Abubakar added that the documents for Rivers and Sokoto states were indeed provided. Still, the Labour Party refused to pay N1.5 million for Sokoto State, and Form EC8A for Rivers State has yet to be given to them.
He added that some documents were given to the party but would only collect it once it was complete.
He assured the court that they were doing everything possible to assist the court openly.
He added that they are ready to pay any amount for a document.
Tinubu Rejects Live Broadcast of Election Tribunal, Gives Reason
Meanwhile, Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, has told the presidential election petition tribunal to dismiss the application of Atiku Abubakar and the PDP to broadcast live proceedings.
The defendants told the tribunal that the court is not a football stadium or a theatre and that the application is not within the jurisprudence of the presidential election tribunal.
Through their joint lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, the petitioner said the application insulted the court's authority.