Buhari, APC want Atiku’s 28,000 exhibits expunged

Buhari, APC want Atiku’s 28,000 exhibits expunged

President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress have asked the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to expunge from its records over 28,000 result sheets of the February 23, 2019 election in 10 states tendered by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

They also urged the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal of five judges to reject the testimony of the petitioners’ 40th, 59th and 60th witnesses.

Atiku’s spokesperson, Mr Segun Showunmi, was the 40th witness; David Njorga from Kenya, who was described by the petitioners as their “expert witness,” was the PW 59; while Joseph Gbenga, a data analyst was the PW 60.

Buhari and his party also asked the tribunal to reject a separate set of 33 documents, which included the Certified True Copies of Form CF001 (personal particulars) submitted by Buhari to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the presidential candidate of his party, other INEC documents and some newspaper reports.

Among the 28,428 documents, whose admissibility was being challenged by Buhari and the APC, are 28,395 certified true copies of polling unit, local government, ward and state result sheets of 10 states.

The states are Yobe (1,732 result sheets), Kebbi (2,106), Borno (3,472), Kano (5,806), Bauchi  (3,599), Katsina (3,378), Jigawa (3,162), Kaduna (3,335A), Zamfara (eight) and Niger (1,797).

Buhari and the APC prayers, urging the tribunal not to act on the documents, are contained in their separate objections to the admissibility of the petitioners’ documents earlier admitted conditionally as exhibits by the tribunal.

Copies of the filings by the 2nd and 3rd respondents (Buhari and APC) obtained by The PUNCH on Tuesday were filed alongside their separate final addresses in which they urged the tribunal to dismiss Atiku’s petition against Buhari for lacking in merit.

The tribunal had fixed August 21 for parties to present their closing arguments in respect of the petition challenging the victory of Buhari and the APC at the February 23, 2019 poll.

APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), urged the tribunal to “expunge” the documents from the record of proceedings on the grounds that they were “wrongly admitted in evidence” when they “are legally inadmissible.”