Election Tribunal: Atiku, PDP Call for Reduction of Call-in Witnesses Period to 10 Days


Atiku OnoBello

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate for the 2019 Nigerian General Elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has on Monday, informed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal their decision to reduce the 14 days period prescribed by the law for the call of witnesses to prove their petition to 10 days.

Atiku and PDP, had filed the petition against the Independent National Electoral Commission, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the victory of Buhari and the APC at the February 23 poll.

Sequel to the decision by Atiku and PDP to reduce the period of days to call in their witnesses and the agreement of all defendants involved, the election tribunal noted that the 14 days period is prescribed by the law, under paragraph 16(3) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

Lawyers representing all the parties to the case then requested a stand-down for 30 minutes to agree on some common grounds ahead of the substantive hearing of the petition.

At the resumption of the tribunal, Dr Livy Uzokwu, the petitioner’s lawyer, said, “We have agreed that instead of 14 days that we have to call our witnesses, we will take 10.

“The respondents have agreed to cut their 10 days to six days for each of them.

“Evidence-in-chief for what we call ‘ordinary witnesses’ will take five minutes.

“Cross-examination of such ordinary witnesses will take 10 minutes.

“Evidence-in-chief of expert/subpoenaed witnesses, 10 minutes.

“Cross-examination of same category of witnesses, 20 minutes.

“Re-examination of all witnesses, three minutes each.

“Objection to documents will be indicated at the point of tendering, and the address on it will be reserved till final address but will be isolated from the main address.

“Parties are to prepare the schedule of documents to be tendered, file them and exchanged them among themselves.”

The tribunal earlier on Monday, also heard an application by the petitioners seeking the re-hearing of APC’s motion for the dismissal of their petition adjourned till Wednesday for hearing.

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