The legal team of President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, on Wednesday, closed defence of their election victory after the former presented its star witness, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, to dispute the petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
Led in evidence by Tinubu’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun SAN, Opeyemi told the court that in Kano state, the votes secured by Tinubu were not properly recorded and had a shortfall of 10,929 votes….CONTINUE READING
The witness, through his lawyer, also presented the observers preliminary report from the Economic Community of West African State which stated “Vote counting and tallying processes were carried out in a transparent, simple and professional manner, in the presence of party agents, observers, and security agents in the daytime in some polling units and with lamps in others, where voting was delayed.”
He also claimed that the Labour Party letter membership list to INEC and its register of members for Anambra state, as at 15 April 2022, did not capture Obi’s name.
INEC lawyer, A.B. Mahmoud SAN said he had no question for him.
Under cross-examination by All Progressives Congress lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, the witness confirmed that he was the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and now Majority leader of the Senate.
He insisted that the Labour Party membership register for Anambra does not contain the name of Peter Obi as at April 22, 2022.
The witness also testified that as an attorney who has practiced in the United States since 1999, the forfeiture of funds traced to the bank account named “Bola Tinubu” was not a criminal conviction or sentence as alleged by Obi’s legal team.
He tendered his identity card showing he is a member of the New York Bar.
He said as a long-standing associate of Tinubu, he was aware that Tinubu is a Nigerian citizen by birth, apparently debunking claims about the president’s dual nationality.
Under cross-examination by Obi’s lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu SAN, he was asked if he saw the European Union Observer Mission final report on the elections.
Uzoukwu asked if he was aware of the European Union Observer report on the Presidential Election, to which Opeyemi noted the description on the face of the report.
Uzoukwu tendered it as evidence.
Uzoukwu then asked Opeyemi to read paragraph 17 of the ECOWAS report which he did, citing where it noted incidents of violence, disruption occurred on election day leading to the death of a Labour party member.
But Opeyemi said he does not agree with that paragraph, adding the violence was caused by the Indigenous People of Biafra.
Meanwhile, Opeyemi agreed that he does not have the licence to practice law in the state of Illinois, where the US Court Judgment on forfeiture came from.
But he added “I have the licence to practice law across the United States.”
“The forfeiture of 460,000 us dollars in the account of Bola Tinubu represents proceeds of narcotic trafficking,” Uzoukwu asked.
“My lord, what is contained in the judgement was a civil forfeiture,” Opeyemi replied.
He also agreed with Uzoukwu that he is not an IT expert.
“I want to place it on record that American Bar Association is a voluntary Association?,” Uzoukwu noted, to which Opeyemi agreed, saying “it is a voluntary Association but you have to be a lawyer to be made a member.”
The witness, however, noted that the US court relied on the American law dealing on money laundering in Tinubu’s forfeiture but stressed that it was a civil matter.
APC lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN told the PEPC that it was his belief that there was no need to call witness after Olanipekun and that APC had established its case and “we are not calling any witness.”
Subsequently, both Olanipekun and Fagbemi closed their defence in Obi’s case.
Subsequently, the court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, ordered INEC, Tinubu and APC to file their written address within 10 days while the petitioners’ have five days to file theirs.
THE WHISTLER reports that after final address is filed, the court would fix a date for Judgment….CONTINUE READING