By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja.
In a renewed bid to justify his request for nullification of the election of President Bola Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the last presidential election, Peter Obi, on Wednesday tendered collated final Presidential Election Results used in declaring Tinubu as winner of the election.
The final result was admitted by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) without any objections from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shetima and the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are the four respondents in the petition.
Apart from not opposing the final presidential election results contained in form EC8DA, the four respondents did not also oppose deeming the vital documents as being read in the open court.
Obi and the Labour Party LP through their lawyer, Professor Paul Ananaba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, tendered the documents alongside several exibits to establish the petition against Tinubu’s election.
Surprisingly however, while the respondents vehemently opposed admission of collated election results from ward level, Local Government level, State level, they accepted tendering the final result without any objections.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, the collated results in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory FCT contained in Forms EC8D used by the electoral body was also tendered and admitted as exhibits.
Also at the PEPC hearing his petition against Tinubu, Obi who was physically present in the court to witness proceedings had shifted his battle from Wards collated election results to Local Government Collated Election Results, States collated results before tendering the final result as exhibits in aid of his petition.
The collated results at the Local Government Levels are contained in forms EC8C used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the February 25 presidential poll.
The 13 States where the ward collated results were tendered and admitted as exhibits are Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos, Niger and Ondo.
Other states are Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Ekiti and Delta.
Obi tendered collated results in eight local government areas of Bayelsa, 23 in Benue, 18 in Cross River,10 in Ebonyi, 18 in Edo, 20 in Lagos and 25 in Niger State.
Others are 18 in Ondo, 33 in Oyo, 23 in Rivers, 23 in Sokoto, 16 in Ekiti and 25 in Delta.
Although INEC, Tinubu, Kashim Shetima and the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are respondents in the petition signified their objections against admission of the collated results, Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, admitted them as exhibits in favour of Obi and the Labour Party.
Meanwhile, Justice Tsammani fixed June 8 for continuation of hearing in the petition.
Addressing newsmen later, Obi’s counsel, Professor Paul Ananaba, explained that the coast is now clear for his client to begin to call witnesses to testify to establish the petition.
The professor of law revealed that the witnesses will speak through the admitted documents one after the other to show to the court where electoral malpractices were carried out during the February 25 presidential election.
“I can assure you and indeed the whole Nigerians, that our witnesses in the evidence they would profer, would give life to the petition and the whole thing, would be interesting” he said.