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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar

Presidential Tribunal fixes Aug.21 for final adresses

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Thursday fixed August 21 for final arguments in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

This followed the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, the last two respondents to the petition, to close their case on Thursday.

Buhari’s legal team which called seven witnesses between Tuesday and Wednesday closed its case without calling an additional witness on Thursday.

The APC’s team also said on Thursday that it would not call any witness.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which is the first respondent in the matter, had , had earlier closed its case without calling any witness, saying it would rely on responses of all the petitioners’ witnesses that were cross-examined.

The petitioners, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP had on July 19, closed their case after they called a total of 62 witnesses and tendered over 40,000 documents. The petitioners are by their petition challenging the victory of Buhari and the APC at the February 23, 2019, presidential poll.

The five-man tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba subsequently directed the three respondents to file and serve on the petitioners their final written addresses within three days starting from Monday (August 5).

The tribunal gave the petitioners seven days from the time they are served to file and serve on the respondents their final written addresses.

It gave the respondents two days to, if necessary, file their final addresses in reply to the petitioners’ addresses.

Justice Mohammed announced that the closing of final addresses would close on August 16 and fixed August 21 for the adoption of the final addresses by the lawyers representing the parties in the case.

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