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Court steps down Obi’s petition amid his legal team’s confusion over documents

For the third time this week, the presidential election petition court has been forced to step down hearing in the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party due to poor scheduling of documents.

Mr Obi and his party are before the tribunal challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, the tribunal chairman, Justice Haruna Tsammani, stepped down the petition due to poor scheduling of documents the petitioners sought to tender to prove their allegation of electoral malpractices in the February 25 presidential election.

At Thursday’s proceedings, the court observed that the documents were not properly scheduled as it had ordered counsel to do.

There was some confusion as several discrepancies were noticed, with Emeka Okpko from Mr Obi’s legal team attempting to tender documents from the 23 local government areas of Benue.

All efforts to reconcile the discrepancies and reschedule the documents were futile, forcing the judges to rise for about 15 minutes to allow the petitioners to resolve them.

The court asked Mr Okpoko to file a different schedule of documents he had prepared, which the court said was easier to understand than the earlier filed schedule.

The five judges then retired to their chambers to await when the legal team would put its house in order.

The confusion happened in the presence of Mr Obi, his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party chairman Julius Abure and other loyalists.

On Wednesday, Mr Obi’s lawyers begged the presidential election petitions tribunal to adjourn the hearing on the electoral suit filed against Mr Tinubu’s victory.



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