The proceedings at the presidential election petition tribunal were unexpectedly halted on Monday due to the absence of a crucial witness. The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, had filed a petition challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 election, citing various concerns, including the contention that Tinubu did not win by a majority of lawful votes cast.
Having presented 13 witnesses, the petitioners concluded their case on June 23. However, contrary to the pre-hearing schedule, which indicated that the respondents would commence their defense on June 30, the court directed them to do so on July 3.
During the resumed hearing, Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), requested an adjournment as none of their three witnesses were present in court. The first witness had informed Mahmoud of a family emergency, preventing them from attending.
Livy Uzoukwu, counsel to the petitioner, Wole Olanipekun, representing Tinubu, and Lateef Fagbemi, counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC), did not oppose the adjournment request.
Consequently, the five-member panel led by Haruna Tsammani adjourned the case to Tuesday, allowing time for the witnesses to be present and the proceedings to continue.