The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal may give former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last February’s presidential election, and his party 10 days to examine 400 witnesses it is bringing to testify at the tribunal.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, and President Muhammadu Buhari have sic days each to present their case and examine their witnesses.
Details of the modalities and structure for the conduct of the tribunal proceedings agreed to by counsels to all parties were released on Monday.
Atiku and his party are challenging the victory of President Buhari at the tribunal.
Other preliminary issues concerning the petition of the PDP and Atiku/Obi include:
▪ Certifying and adopting pre hearing proceedings
▪ Number of witnesses the Parties are willing to call
▪ Streamlining the proceedings of the hearings due to time constraints.
After series of deliberations by counsels for all the parties, the counsel agreed as follows:
- That 10 days should be given to petitioners to present their cases.
- That Respondents should be given six days each.
- Evidence in Chief – 5 minutes each (ordinary witnesses)
- Cross examination of ordinary witnesses- 10 minutes
- Expert witnesses – 10 minutes
- Cross examination of the same category of witnesses – 20 minutes
- Re examination of all witnesses – 20 minutes each
- Objections with documents indicated at the point of tendering and the address clearance isolated from the main address
- Documents should be tendered at the bar.
- Parties will prepare schedule of documents to be tendered, filed and exchanged between the parties
- Final addresses: The respondents will be given seven days after the close of arguments and for the petitioners – five days
- Replying to final addresses on the point of law – three days across board
- One hour break during proceedings
- Time schedule for proper hearing was disgusted as follows:
a. Start proceedings – 9:30am
b. Break – 1pm to 2pm and
C. Tribunal closes each day at 4pm
- That proper hearing of the petition should begin from Thursday, 4th July 2019.
- Parties are at liberty to modify their submissions at any given time within the period of the hearings
The trial Judge, Justice Garba Mohammed after hearing the suggestions from the counsels, informed the that the Tribunal will adjourn the pre-hearing to Wednesday, 3rd of July 2019 to determine the ruling on all the motions concerning the proceedings and streamlining of the time for the proper hearing
The tribunal adjourned to Wednesday July 3, 2019.