The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal on Wednesday , September 6, said it rejected 10 out of 13 witnesses presented by Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, who delivered the judgment on the substantive petition filed by Obi and LP, said Obi called 13 witnesses, who testified as PW1 to PW13, noting that of the 13 witnesses, only three witnesses whose statements are on oath, were filed along with the petition.
The remaining 10 witnesses, the Justice said, were subpoenaed and their witness statements on oath were only filed after the hearing started.
Tsammani held that by virtue of section 285 of the Nigerian constitution, section 137(7) of the Electoral Act 2022, and other provisions, every witness statement on oath must be filed along with the petition.
He said that based on the Supreme Court authority, once the 21-day window for filing an election petition elapses, the content of the petition cannot be amended.
The Justice stated further that no additional statement on oath can be filed after the close of the specified window since the respondents would not have the opportunity to respond.
Tsammani said the petitioners were aware of the legal provision relating to the filing of witness statements on oath, yet went ahead to present 10 witnesses without their witness statements on oath earlier filed with the petition.