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Tribunal announces final hearing date as Buhari, APC close defence

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress on Thursday closed their defence in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar challenging the 2019 presidential election result.

Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigeria vice president is challenging the election result which Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared President Muhammadu Buhari the winner.

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, who polled 11,262,978 votes.

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However, Atiku and the PDP said the election was ‘massively’ rigged.

They contended that the data obtained from INEC’s server, the true, actual and correct results” showed that they polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.

The election tribunal fixed August 21 for final arguments in the petition filed by the PDP and Atiku.

During the tribunal, INEC said that it had no server where the election results were transmitted during the February 23 presidential election.

The PDP had presented over five witnesses to attest to its claims of compromise in the presidential election result.

Buhari on Tuesday, July 30 opened his defence and had called seven witnesses between then and Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s defence, Buhari’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), told the five-man panel of the tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba that his team was satisfied with the seven witnesses presented.

Also, APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said he and members of his team also found it unnecessary to call more witnesses.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the first respondent did not also call any witness or tender any document.

In all, there were seven defence witnesses against the 62 called by the petitioners.


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