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Tribunal: HDP closes case antagonistic towards Buhari, APC, INEC

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru, yesterday, closed their case in the election petition filed against President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC).

The petitioners who were challenging the result of the February 23 presidential election have asked the tribunal to declare them winners.

They claimed to have won a public vote intimation direct after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the presidential election.

Lawyers to the petitioners, Eze Nnalugo, called Yusuf Ibrahim as the first witness.

The court, however, rejected two other witnesses called by the petitioners, including a supeonaed witness on grounds that they had no written affidavit, as required by law.

Nnalugo later announced the shutdown of the petitioners’ case.

Earlier, a witness, Yusuf Ibrahim, had told the tribunal to declare Chief Owuru winner of the election.

Ibrahim, who was led in evidence by counsel for the HDP,  Eze Nnayelugo, told the tribunal that a poll run on February 16 placed Owuru winner by over 50 million Nigerians.

The witness challenged the shift of the presidential election from February 16 to February 23 by INEC and described the election of February 23 as illegal, unconstitutional and a nullity because conditions pattern for shifting election were not met.

Ibrahim told the tribunal that ‘Citizens Observers poll Election Rights Protection of Nigeria’ conducted a public vote across the country and that Owuru emerged as Nigeria’s president.

Besides, the witness alleged unlawful embargo of the HDP in the February 23 poll by INEC’s refusal to put its original logo on the ballot papers as was done to other parties by INEC.

Under cross examination by INEC’s counsel, Yunus Usman, SAN, the witness admitted that INEC has sole responsibility of conducting election for the country but said the electoral body lacked powers to shift the election the way it did on February 16, which he said prompted Nigerians to opt for a public vote.

But when asked to produce the results of the poll, Ibrahim said it was not with him in the Tribunal.

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