JUST IN: ‘You’re Not Prepared…Wasted Our Time’ — Tribunal Berates Obi’s Lawyers Again

There was another rowdy session at the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday with the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani openly describing the conduct of the lawyers representing the presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi, as “not being organised”.

THE WHISTLER reports that the PEPC gave Obi’s legal team and that of Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, 3 weeks from May 30 to present their witnesses.

Recall that Obi’s legal team had on Wednesday asked for an adjournment in their petition disputing the electoral victory of President Bola Tinubu, after informing the court that two members of their secretariat staff were ill.

Obi’s legal team presented one witness on Monday while tendering five documents as evidence, including a United States District Court judgement on Tinubu’s forfeiture of 460,000 US dollars allegedly linked to drug trafficking, despite objections from the Independent National Electoral Commission.

At the resumption of proceedings on Thursday, Obi’s legal team represented by Chief Emeka Okoko, SAN said he would first tender INEC Forms EC8As for 23 Local Government Areas of Benue State.

But the panel told him that his schedule of documents showed Forms EC8As for Benue State LGAs but was not itemized according to polling units in line with rules of court.

Okoro started reading out the documents for the LGAs in Benue State but the panel advised him, saying if Obi’s team should continue to tender documents LGA by LGA, its 3 weeks’ timeline would elapse before they’re done.

It recommended that the petitioners should put polling unit results for the states serially according to the LGAs.

Okoro then admitted that he had another informal schedule of documents that itemized the electoral documents for states and LGAs properly.

Subsequently, the court stood down proceedings for ten minutes, directing Obi’s legal team to reproduce another formal schedule of documents and ensure they do not “waste time unnecessarily.”

When the court resumed, Okoko apologized for his earlier conduct.

He then said he wanted to restart tendering INEC’s Form EC8As beginning with 21 LGAs in Rivers state.

He read out electoral forms for 16 LGAs in Rivers state including Adoni, Imoha, Ahoda West, Ikwere.

When he was done, the panel told Okoro that he only mentioned documents for 16 LGAs in Rivers state and not 21.

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