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Buhari, APC close cases at presidential election tribunal

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President Buhari celebrate with supporters after his re-election victory

President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have closed their case at the hearing of the petition brought by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging Mr Buhari’s election.

The President closed his defence today Thursday August 1st after his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, filed an application.

The president who is the second respondent in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, opened his defence on Tuesday July 30th and presented seven witnesses between Tuesday and Wednesday July 31st. Among the witnesses President Buhari presented was his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

While moving the application to close the defence today, Olanipekun told the tribunal that they are satisfied with the evidence they had given.

“We have come to decision that it is time for us to restrict the legal duel to the four corners of this honourable court by those who are learned in the law. Thus, we are very satisfied with the evidence we have led and we will be closing our case as the second respondent. I did assure your lordships that when we started there will be no going back.” Olanipekun said

Counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, said they would not open their defence because there was no need for it.

“Normally, it is the turn of the third respondent to open our case, I have thought about it, if i am grateful to chief Olanipekun i am entirely grateful to the petitioners. With respect, having reviewed our petition, there is no point to indulge in an overkill exercise. We for the third respondents say we have satisfied with the cross-examination and evidences tendered in this case.” Lateef said

Counsel to PDP, Livy Uzoukwu, and Yunus Usman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) counsel, had no objections to the applications for the close of defense by President Buhari and APC.

The tribunal led by Justice Mohammed Garba, thereafter, granted the request of APC to close the defence. The matter was then adjourned to August 21st for adoption of the final addresses of the parties in the petition.

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