President Bola Tinubu says all the 27 witnesses called by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to adduce “useful” evidence in the case against him.
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the PDP, is challenging the outcome of the February 25 election and praying the court to nullify Tinubu’s victory.
Among several issues raised in the joint petition, Atiku and the PDP are alleging that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the poll.
They claim that the president was indicted for drug trafficking in the United States, that his academic certificates submitted to INEC were forged, and that Tinubu is a citizen of Guinea.
The petitioners also accused INEC of manipulating the poll to favour Tinubu.
The petitioners closed their case on June 23 after calling 27 witnesses.
In the final written address dated July 14, Tinubu through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, described the evidence given by all the 27 witnesses as “a panoply of hearsay, admissions against interest, and irrelevancies on the part of the petitioners”.
“Without fear of contradiction, the petitioners have no single witness whose evidence could be described as useful or manageable to their case.”
Meanwhile, the respondent said the sole witness he called was competent and able to discredit the case of the petitioners.
Opeyemi Bamidele, senate majority leader, was the only witness called by the president.
“This witness demonstrated undoubted competence to testify in respect of the subjects submitted before the court, including issues surrounding the US proceedings, himself, being a US practising attorney and counsellor at law,” Olanipekun stated.
“Also, being a lawmaker, who participated in the enactment of the Electoral Act, 2022, he stated the position and intention of the legislature, particularly, as it relates to the appropriate mode of transmission as well as transfer and collation of results.”
Based on the arguments and submissions contained in the final address, the respondent prayed the court to “dismiss this petition as totally lacking in merit, substance and bona fide”.
“It has been glaringly shown and demonstrated by the presentation of the petition itself and the evidence presented by the petitioners, including the evidence of PW27, that the petition itself is not only frivolous but also amounts to a crass abuse of the process of court,” he said.
“Non-existent documents were being sourced and printed from the internet, among others, to be presented before this honourable court, after the filing of the petition, in furtherance of the abusive nature of the petition itself.”