Buhari, APC close defence at Election Tribunal

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari have closed their defence in the petition filed at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal by Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate,Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The petitioners are challenging the victory of Buhari and his All Progressives Congress at the Feb. 23, 2019 presidential poll.

The Tribunal has set aside August 21 for parties to adopt their final addresses.

Lawyers to the petitioners and the respondents adopted the date after President Muhammadu  Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) closed their case.

Two days after opening his defence in the petition, President Buhari through his counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Wole Olanipekun, closed his case on Thursday.

On its part, the APC said it would not call witnesses in the petition of the PDP and the former vice president.

Counsel to the ruling party and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, also informed the court that the APC has decided to close their case.

He said having reviewed all evidence adduced, there was no point to indulge in any ‘overkill’ of the exercise.

Mr Fagbemi, however, made an application to tender some documents and asked the court to extend the time limit for filing their final addresses.

He requested for three days and urged the Tribunal to allow the days to run from Monday.

Mr Olanipekun aligned himself with the APC counsel’s position while the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Levi Uzoukwu (SAN), said he predicted that was what the respondents would do.

He however  noted that their application to file their reply from Monday would mean seven days instead of the three days agreed upon.

As such, Mr Uzoukwu asked for seven days too from the point of service.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, granted the application for the respondents to file their final address within three days from Monday.

According to him, the respondents have three days upon receipt of the addresses and if they wish to reply on points of law, they have two days to do so.

Justice Garba also granted the request of parties in the matter to adopt their final addresses on August 21.

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