The Presidential Election Petitions Court on Wednesday, dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, which alleged that President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) possesses dual citizenship.
Justice Stephen Adah, who succeeded Justice Haruna Tsammani, reviewed the evidence and documents presented and subsequently dismissed the testimony of several of Atiku’s witnesses. This decision was based on the fact that their sworn witness statements had not been submitted alongside the petition.
Furthermore, the court also removed 37 exhibits that had been presented by the witnesses from the official court records.
Regarding the concern about the “dumping” of documents on the court, Justice Stephen Adah clarified that this would primarily affect the weight and credibility assigned to such evidence during the proceedings.
Regarding the matters concerning Tinubu’s alleged conviction and his dual citizenship, the Tribunal reaffirmed its previous position that these issues were legally inadequate and thus subject to dismissal. Consequently, both of these issues were indeed struck out by the Tribunal.
Subsequently, Justice Adah transferred the proceedings back to Justice Tsammani, who headed the five-member panel, to address the primary petition.
The court outlined four key issues for examination.
Regarding the issue of the election officers’ inability to transmit results electronically, out of the 27 witnesses presented by the petitioner, 10 were polling unit agents who testified about the conduct of the elections in their respective polling units.
All 10 witnesses affirmed that the voting process was conducted smoothly and peacefully in their respective polling units. However, they all stated that they were unable to electronically upload the results to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) portal. Instead, they manually recorded the results and delivered them to the ward or state collation center.
The witnesses were consistent and emphatic in their testimony, confirming that the voting process proceeded smoothly and that party agents had signed off on the results.
However, their only challenge lay in their inability to upload the results electronically.