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Buhari closes defence at tribunal – after calling seven witnesses

Buhari closes defence at tribunal – after calling seven witnesses
August 01
10:27 2019

President Muhammadu Buhari has closed his case at the presidential election petitions tribunal.

Buhari closed his defence on Thursday after Wole Olanipekun, his counsel, filed an application.

The president who is the second respondent in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, opened his defence on Tuesday.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, the second respondent called only called seven witnesses.

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While moving the application, Olanipekun told the tribunal that they are satisfied with the evidence they had given.

“We have come to decision that it is time for us to restrict the legal duel to the four corners of this honourable court by those who are learned in the law,” he said.

“Thus, we are very satisfied with the evidence we have led and we will be closing our case as the second respondent.

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“I did assure your lordships that when we started there will be no going back.”

Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), said they would not open their defence because there was no need for it.

“Normally, it is the turn of the third respondent to open our case, I have thought about it, if i am grateful to chief Olanipekun i am entirely grateful to the petitioners. With respect, having reviewed our petition, there is no point to indulge in an overkill exercise,” counsel to the third respondent said.

“We for the third respondents say we have satisfied with the cross-examination and evidences tendered in this case.”

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Livy Uzoukwu, PDP counsel, and Yunus Usman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) counsel, had no objections to the applications of second and third respondents.

Thereafter, the tribunal led by Mohammed Garba granted the request of APC for the respondents to start filing their final addresses.

The matter was then adjourned to August 21 for adoption of the final addresses of the parties in the petition.

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