Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has persuaded the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, sitting in Abuja, to delay further proceedings on the lawsuit he filed to dispute the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
Obi informed the court on Wednesday, through his team of lawyers led by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN, that two of his essential staff members had unexpectedly become unwell. He claimed that the absence of the duo, who were described as part of his legal Secretariat’s engine room, hampered his plans to present vital documents to the court to prove his claim that the presidential election was rigged in favor of President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
“My lords, our intention for today’s proceedings was to begin with the presentation of our documents, but we had an unexpected development.” “The unexpected development concerns the sudden illness of two of our key personnel, for which I am forced to request an adjournment until tomorrow.” “We submit this application with the utmost humility and regret.”
“I assure my lords that we will be here tomorrow morning and we will proceed with vigour,” begged Kalu, SAN. Obi’s lawyer told the five-member panel chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani that he had notified President Tinubu’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, of the event before the sitting began. President Bola Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Olanipekun, SAN, informed the court in his response that he was not opposed to the request for an adjournment.
Similarly, Mr. Abubakar Mahmood, SAN, who appeared for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, counsel for the APC, said they were not adverse to the plea. However, the respondents asked the court to cut a day from the three weeks set aside for Obi to present his case. Justice Tsammani granted the application and deferred the petition until Thursday in a brief ruling.