APM Closes Case in Petition against Tinubu’s Presidential Election Victory

In a recent development, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) has opened and closed its case in the petition challenging the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25 presidential election.

The APM, in petition number CA/PEPC/04/2023, seeks to nullify Tinubu’s election on the grounds of the double nomination of the APC’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the petitioner presented its lone witness, Aisha Abubakar, who provided evidence in support of the petition. Led by the APM’s lead counsel, Gideon Idiagbonya, the witness identified and submitted five sworn witness statements at the court’s registry.

Additionally, the witness tendered her membership card as evidence. Various documents were also presented by the petitioner and admitted as exhibits by the court, including the declaration of results sheet (Form EC8E), withdrawal notices of Kabiru Masari and Kashim Shettima, affidavits in support of personal particulars, and letters of voluntary withdrawal.

Furthermore, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) produced Certified True Copies of online temporary acknowledgments of Kashim Shettima’s and Lawal Kaka Shehu’s profiles, which were tendered as exhibits.

After the cross-examination by the respondents, which include INEC, APC, Tinubu, Kashim Shettima, and Kabiru Masari, the counsel for the petitioner announced the closure of the case.

The respondents did not present evidence but relied on the Supreme Court’s May 26, 2023 judgment and a letter notifying INEC of Shettima’s withdrawal as a senatorial candidate. The court admitted the Supreme Court judgment as evidence, despite objections raised by the petitioner.

The court granted the petitioner 10 days to file and serve its final written address, while the respondents were given seven days to do the same. The adoption of the final written addresses by the parties in the petition is scheduled for July 14, 2023.

Meanwhile, the petition filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging Tinubu’s election could not be heard as the APM petition took precedence. Consequently, further hearings for Atiku Abubakar and PDP’s petition have been adjourned until July 22, 2023.

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, will continue to oversee the proceedings.

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