The presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar along with his party members and supporters on Thursday opened the trial at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja by tendering the results of the polls in Niger and Yobe states.
Atiku and his party had petitioned the tribunal challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Party at the February 23, 2019 election.
renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), made what turned out to be a solidarity appearance at the tribunal on Thursday. Nwabueze arrived the courtroom in a wheelchair, and was wheeled out shortly thereafter.
In his remarks before taking his leave, the 87-year-old noted that the generality of Nigerians believed that the presidential election was rigged but yet to find who perpetrated the rigging.
He urged the tribunal “to rise above the self-imposed shackles” in order to “find out the truth about what happened during that election”.
The trial commenced, shortly after Nwabueze left with Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), resuming as the lead counsel for the petitioners.
Uzoukwu tendered Forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8C – the polling units, wards, and local government result sheets for Niger and Yobe states.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, along with the two other respondents, Buhari and the APC, objected to the tendering of the result sheets which were all certified by the electoral body.
The respondents, through their respective lawyers, also objected to the tendering of the receipt of certification issued on June 7, 2019 by INEC in respect of the Niger State result sheets.
While opposing the admissibility of the receipt, Buhari’s lead counsel, Mike Igbokwe (SAN), said, “If INEC objected to the admissibility, who am I not to object? It’s their document but they are objecting to it.”