0815 671 6040 [email protected]

Tag: Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC)

Judges at the PEPC( Presidential Election Tribunal

Tribunal scolds Obi’s legal team for shoddiness, adjourns case


The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), on Thursday in Abuja, scolded the legal team of the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, for failing to properly organise its schedule of documents for seamless tendering as exhibits.

Obi and his party filed a petition challenging the outcome of the Feb. 25 presidential election.

At the resumed hearing of the petition, the court frowned at the team’s inability to present its schedule of documents in a manner that would be easy for the court to comprehend.

This led to the court abruptly stepping down hearing in the petition for some minutes to enable the lawyers, led by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN, to put its house in order.

After resuming from the short break, the presentation of documents being handled by Mr Emeka Okpoko, SAN, still seemed not be have been done in the direction that had been agreed upon during the pre-hearing stage.

This led to the judges asking Obi’s team to take an adjournment and put their house in order before returning to tender the documents.

Specifically, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf said that the whole exercise of the petitioners was a waste of the court’s time.

“What we have done today is a waste of time. The poor way you have arranged the documents will cause confusion for both of you and the court.

“At this stage, it is better for you to go back and rearrange those documents in a sequence so as to help yourselves and the court.”

Prof. Kalu, however, prayed the court to allow his team tender the documents they had rather than take an adjournment since they had already lost one day.

The court allowed the petitioners to proceed following the appeal after which the petitioners said they would challenge the election results in 18 out of the 36 states.

The petitioners proceeded to tender certified true copies of electoral documents obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in six out of the 18 states whose results they are challenging.

The documents are mainly Forms EC8A, which are election results from polling units.

The documents were admitted as exhibits and marked appropriately by the Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani.

INEC, which issued the documents to the petitioners, objected to all the documents being admitted in evidence.

INEC was represented by Mr Kemi Pinhero, SAN.

Similarly, counsel to President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima who are the second and third respondents and represented by Mr Adebayo Adelodun, SAN, and Mr Afolabi Fashanu respectively, also opposed the admissibility of the electoral documents.

They, however, said that they would give their reasons for objecting to the admissibility of the documents in their final addresses.

A list of the tendered and admitted documents include Forms EC8A from 15 local government areas of Rivers, 23 local government areas of Benue, 18 in Cross River, 23 in Niger, 20 in Osun and 16 in Ekiti.

Justice Tsammani, thereafter, adjourned further hearing in the petition to Friday at the instance of the petitioners.

Obi and his party are challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima on the grounds of electoral malpractices during the Feb. 25 presidential election.

Judges at the PEPC( Presidential Election Tribunal

Obi’s ‘moon’ witness rattled in court by Tinubu, APC lawyers


Lawyers to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, INEC and the All Progressives Congress rattled a witness of Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate, when the witness faced cross examination today.

The lawyers bombarded the witness, identified as Lawrence Nwakaeti, with questions on whether the document he claimed contained an indictment of the president on drug accusation was registered in Nigeria or the U.S. consular office in Nigeria.

He was also asked whether he obtained a police certification of the document in the U.S. He replied no.

Nevertheless, the Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC), admitted the documents.

Lawyers to Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and the APC told the court that they opposed the documents, but said they would expatiate on their objection in their closing remarks.

The document tendered on Tuesday was a United States District Court judgment, which Peter Obi claimed indicted Tinubu, because it ordered his forfeiture of 460,000 dollars in a drug suspicion offence.

Nwakaeti, who was jokingly called a ‘moon witness instead of a star witness’, was led in evidence by Mr Jibrin Okutepa, SAN.

Nwakaeti told the court that he was a registered voter and that he voted at a polling unit in his hometown in Anambra on Feb. 25.

Counsel to the respondents raised objections to the admission of the document in evidence but reserved their arguments to their objections until the final address stage.

Under cross examination by counsel to Tinubu, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, the witness admitted that the judgment was not registered in Nigeria.

Nwakaeti also admitted that there was no certificate from any Consular in Nigeria or America in support of the judgment but that the judgement was obtained and certified by the person in whose custody it was.

The witness told the court that he had been to the United States and also that he had read the judgment in its entirety adding that he would be surprised if no mention was made of 460,000 dollars forfeiture in it.

While also cross examining the witness, counsel to the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, sought to know if the document had the certification of any police officer in the United States.

“Do you have a certificate given under the hand of a police officer in the United States where the alleged conviction took place.

“Are you aware of a formal clearance report dated Feb. 4, 2003 issued under the legal attache’ of the United States embassy in respect of the alleged indictment and forfeiture?”

The witness told the court that he had no certificate from the police and that he was not aware of any such report.

The witness further told the court that he did not have the charges against Tinubu because there were no charges since the indictment was from a civil forfeiture proceeding.

Since Nwakaeti was the petitioner’s only witness for the day, the Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Tsammani adjourned further hearing in the petition until Wednesday.

Full Transcript of Cross Examination:

LP: I apply that the witness be recalled to the witness box. Witness is listed as Number 7 LUNN in our petition

Court: Is he a star witness?

LP: No he’s a moon witness (joke). He’s an ordinary witness Where do you live?

W: Ihiala Anambra state

LP: On 20th of March 2023 you deposed to a witness statement to this honourable court. Please identify it.

W: I can identify my deposition

LP: What do you want to do with it.

W: Before I continue I wish to ask to apply to amend at paragraph 10. I mistakenly inserted 14th July (not February) 2022.

LP: My Lords I hope you effect this corrections before we progress. I so apply

Court: Any objections?

Respondents: No objections

Court: In the absence of any opposition it is hereby amended.

W: I seek to adopt same as my evidence

LP: In Para 17 of witness disposition you referred to the proceedings of the US district courts. Are these the documents you referred to then?

W: Yes they are

LP: I apply to tender that document which has been listed at number 5, pages 2 to the last of exhibit BA. Witness referred to it in paragraph 17 of his deposition.

Court: Objections?

INEC: No objection

T/S: Yes. I will put in the objection with arguments in our final Address

APC: I am objecting but I’ll do so in my final address.

Court: Admitted and marked as exhibit

T/s: His time is up.

LP: Please look at paragraph 7-11 of exh BA1 to BA4, are they the documents you referred to in your deposition?

W: Yes
LP: Thank you my Lord. I surrender him to cross examination

INEC: Witness, confirm to the court that you are a registered voter

W: I have my PVC and I voted on the 25th day of February, 2023

INEC: What’s your polling unit

W: Located in front of my house. Umuezala Village Square. That’s my polling unit

INEC: Will I be correct to say that you played no other role in the election

W: I’m a legal practitioner, not an author.

INEc: Confirm to the court if you have ever appeared to the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court as an Amicus on any constitutional matter

W: No

INEC: please confirm that your statements in Para 4, 15, 16 & 17 of your deposition are the legal opinion you have formed on the exhibit you have identified.

W: They are not my legal opinion but matters of pure law

INEC: You said you’re from Amoka Community. Confirm to the court that there was crises

LP: I object because there is nothing related to this in his deposition. The sky is not the limit for cross examination.

Court: INEC what are you driving at?

INEC: I want to establish that he is a serial at causing crises. It is relevant for injuring his credibility in this election. He caused the crisis such that they have two presidents in the elections

T/S: Good Day my Learned friend. Did you prepare the statement and reached the conclusion or it was prepared for you?

W: I vetted it myself and I did not draw conclusion but I stated facts

T/S: Have you been to US? When and where?

W: Been Once in 2003, in Michigan.

T/S: In para: 17 & 18 you stated emphatically that the 2nd respondent was fined 460k dollars in the US. Do you still stand by it?

W: Yes I do

T/S: I suggest to you that you have never read through exhibit P5 series

W: I read through the entire document.

T/S: Will it surprise you that it was never indicated that in this document you tendered that no word, paragraph, line and sentence referred to him being fined?

W: I will be surprised because he was fined & the document speaks for itself.

T/S: We argue that these documents are not registered in Nigeria. Are they?

W: No but allow me to explain

T/S: No certificate from either the consul of United States, you know that?

W: There are certificates

S: Is there a certificate issued by any consular in US or Nigeria?

W: No certificates from the consular

T/S: Lastly, you tendered exhibit P1-P4, judgement of the Supreme Court. It settles any matter, Is that right?

Court: Objection to that question?

W: No.

APC: Do you have in Exh PA5 series, a certificate given under the hand of a police officer in the area where this occurred in the US?

W: None from the police

APC: Are you aware that a letter dated 6th of July, 2023, was written to the 1st respondent by the 4th respondent in respect to his nomination

W: I am not aware

APC: Are you aware of a formal clearance document dated 1st day of Feb, 2003?
W: Not aware

APC: You are aware that all the proceedings in exh B5 proceedings were civil?
W: Civil Forfeiture

APC: Do you have a copy of the charge?

W: I did not mention charge so I don’t have it.

LP: No re-examination my Lords

Notes: NB: T/S is Tinubu/ Shettima counsel

W is Witness

Judges at the PEPC( Presidential Election Tribunal

Tinubu: Tribunal adjourns APM’s case

, ,

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has adjourned till Friday hearing in the petition by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu.

APM wants Tinubu’s election invalidated over the nomination of Kashim Shettima as a replacement for Kabir Masari as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The adjournment is to enable the lawyer to the APM, Shehu Abubakar and other parties obtain copies of the May 26 judgment of the Supreme Court on the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the APC’s nomination of Shettima, which the PDP had termed double nomination.

Abubakar sought the adjournment upon an observation by lawyer to the President, Bola Tinubu and Shettima, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), that the Supreme Court judgment has an effect on the petition by the APM, which deals solely with the same issue of Shettima ‘s nomination.

Olanipekun promised to obtain a CTC of the judgment and make it available to the court within two days.

He also said he hopes to meet with the lawyer to the petitioner to know whether, in view of the judgment, the APM will still continue with its case.

Abubakar said he needed time to enable him obtain the judgment, study same to ascertain its effect on his client’s case and decide what further steps to take.

The petition of the APM is one of the three petitions now pending before the PEPC against the February 25 presidential election.

Justice Haruna Tsammani heads the five-member panel of the PEPC hearing the petition.

Culled from The Nation

Judges at the PEPC( Presidential Election Tribunal

Presidential Election Petition Court rejects live broadcast of proceedings


The Presidential Election Petition Court, (PEPC) on Monday in Abuja, dismissed the application by the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the Labour Party, for live broadcast of court proceedings.

In a unanimous decision, the five-member panel held that the order sought by the petitioners lacked merit and was outside the scope of the petition.

The judges held that televising of proceedings was not provided for in any law.

They held that the court was created by the constitution and operated under the law by the Court Of Appeal.

“The court was created to hear and determine the petitions before it and cannot act as an a vanguard.

“The undue pressure of allowing cameras into the courtroom should be avoided as the impact it would have on witnesses could not be predicted.

“The court is created to find out the truth and should be allowed to do so,” Justice Tsammani said.

In a reaction, lawyer to Atiku Abubakar said that the dismissal of the application for a live broadcast was not a setback to their petition against Sen. Bola Tinubu, the President-elect.

Counsel to PDP and Abubakar, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, stated this while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the PEPC’s decision.

“There is no setback here. The court, in its wisdom decided that the subject of our application on the live streaming and open telecast did not, in any way, connected with the merit of our petition.

“The petition is separate; it is ongoing. The application did not succeed to have the televised version of the proceedings.

“As far as we are concerned, we are now set for hearing.

“Tomorrow, we will be hear by God’s grace for pre-hearing report that will determine the progress of the petition and the time the petition will be heard and concluded,” Jegede said.

On whether they still have confidence in the court, the senior lawyer simply said: “For us, we are prepared for hearing.”

On the issue of consolidation of the whole petitions, he said it was one that was compelled by statute and that they had no objection to it.

L-R Justices Adah, Misitura and Tsammani

Faces of the judges at the Presidential Election Tribunal


The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), otherwise known as the election tribunal began sitting in Abuja on Monday.

It will hear petitions filed by aggrieved presidential aspirants against the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winners of the 2023 Presidential Election.

The panel of justices has five-members, with Justice Haruna Tsammani as Chairman.
Other members of the panel are Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo and Justice Abbah Mohammed.

Here is a brief bio about the Justices:

Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, the Chairman:

Was educated at LEA Primary School, Tarawa Balewa, between 1967 and 1973 and Government Secondary School, Maiduguri between 1973 and 1978.
Tsammani went to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria to read law between 1978 and 1982. He was called to the bar in 1983, after a year in the Law School in Lagos.
Ever thirsty for more knowledge, he went to Institute of Advanced Legal Studies at UNILAG, Abubakar Tarawa Balewa University in home state and University of Jos.
He was first appointed as a judge of the Bauchi state High Court in 1998 and 12 years. Later, he was appointed to the court of appeal.

Hon. Justice Stephen Jonah Adah:

Adah was born on 30 July 1957 in Dekina, Kogi state. He was first appointed as a judge of the Appeal Court in November 2012.
Young Adah had his primary education in four schools, from 1964. He spent the longest time at N.A. Primary School in Idah, where he passed out in 1970.
He went straight to St. Peters College, also in Idah for his secondary education, from 1971 to 1975.
After a year at Ilorin Teachers College, he went to School of Basic Studies at Ugbokolo for his A-Level and then Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to read law. He graduated in 1981 and was called to the bar in 1982.
He was appointed as a judge of the Federal High Court in 1998.

Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf:
She was born in Oyo on 7 August 1959. After her primary education, she went to Iranian Grammar School, also in Oyo, where she spent just one session.
She then left for Bremen Asikuma Secondary School, Central Region of Ghana, where she finished her education in 1976.
In 1979, she was admitted to read law at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. She completed the programme in 1983 and was called to the bar in 1984.
Misitura joined the bench of Oyo state in January 1997. In March 2014, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo
Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo

Hon. Justice Boloukuoromo Moses Ugo:

Moses Ugo is the youngest judge on the panel. He was born 7 June 1965 in Kolokuma Bayelsa State.
He had his primary education at State School, Igbedi and secondary at Government Secondary School, Asoama, Sabagreia, all in Bayelsa.
Ugo read law at University of Calabar between 1985 and 1989. He was called to the bar in 1990.
He was appointed into Bayelsa High Court in 2006 and eight years after, became a judge of the Appeal Court.
Justice Abba Bello Mohammed
Justice Abba Bello Mohammed

Hon. Justice Abba Bello Mohammed
: He is a most recently appointed judge of the Appeal Court. He was appointed in June 2021 from the FCT High Court.
Bello Mohammed was born on 19 February 1961. He is from Kano State.
He was educated at Tudor Wada Primary School( 1967-1974) and Government Secondary School Dambatta(1974-1979).
He also went to School of Preliminary Studies(1979-81), Institute of Admin, A.B.U. Zaria(1981-1984). He was called to the bar in 1985 and appointed a judge of the High Court of FCT in 2010.

Top L-R- Justices Tsammani, Abba Bello Mohammed; below L-R Ugo, Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf and Justice Stephen Ada

Tribunal justices to lawyers: Avoid technicalities, focus on substance


The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting in Abuja, has asked lawyers representing all petitioners to avoid unnecessary technicalities and address the substance of their petitions.

The five-member panel with Justice Haruna Tsammani as Chairman, said this at the inaugural sitting of the panel.

The panel started sitting on Monday to hear petitions filed by aggrieved presidential aspirants against the declaration of Sen. Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winners of the disputed 2023 Presidential Election.

Other members of the panel are Justice Stephen Adah, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf,
Justice Boloukuoromo Ugo and Justice Abbah Mohammed.

In his opening speech, Justice Tsammani urged the lawyers not to engage in unnecessary technicalities as such could cause delays in the expeditious hearing of the petitions.

“Election is time bound, let us not waste unnecessary time, let us cooperate with each other so that everyone will leave here satisfied.

“Avoid unnecessary technicalities. We are determined to look at all the matters brought before us.

“Let us look at what is good for our country and avoid time wasting applications,” he said.

He said that there were five petitions and the first three petitions would be heard on Monday while the last two would be heard on Tuesday.

Responding, Mr Wole Olanipekun, SAN, said that as lawyers, they were bound by the law and would adhere strictly to the rule of law throughout the proceedings.

Olanipekun gave the assurance that the lawyers would give their full support to the court.

Other senior advocates also agreed with Olanipekun.

While the judges went on recess after the opening to prepare to hear the petitions, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, walked into the courtroom and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers and litigants in court.

Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, declared Tinubu winner of the Feb. 25 Presidential Election.

Dissatisfied with the announcement, the candidates of the Labour Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others dragged the commission, the APC and Tinubu to court challenging his victory.

Members of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) would adjudicate on all petitions filed against the declaration of Tinubu and the APC as winners of the disputed 2023 Presidential Election.

INEC chairman Yakubu, Tinubu and his wife Senator Remi Tinubu

APC counters 3 petitions against Tinubu, asks tribunal to dismiss them

, ,

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has prayed the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) in Abuja to dismiss petitions filed by three opposition parties challenging the victory of its presidential candidate, Sen. Bola Tinubu, in the Feb. 25 election.

The APC urged the tribunal to discountenance the petitions, in three separate responses filed at PEPC’s Secretariat, Sunday night, by Thomas Ojo, a member of the party’s legal team led by Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, in Abuja.

The three political parties; Action Alliance (AA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Action People’s Party (APP) had, in separate petitions, challenged the emergence of Tinubu as president-elect.

AA, in the petition, sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), APC, Tinubu and Hamza Al-Mustapha, its factional presidential candidate and former CSO to late Gen. Sani Abacha.

APM, in its petition, joined INEC, APC, Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and Kabir Masari, who stood as vice-presidential placeholder during the primaries before he was substituted with Shettima.

But APP dragged Tinubu, APC and INEC to court as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.

In the suits, marked CA/PEPC/01/2023, CA/PEPC/04/2023 and CA/PEPC/02/2023, AA and its presidential candidate, APM and APP are respectively challenging the outcome of the presidential election on the grounds of alleged substantial non-compliance with the electoral laws as well as the INEC guidelines.

While the AA claimed that its candidate, Solomon-David Okanigbuan, was excluded from the presidential poll, based on which the election should be voided, the APM is contending that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election on the grounds of the alleged double nomination of his vice-presidential candidate.

It is also questioning Tinubu’s candidacy on the grounds of the substitution of the initial placeholder, Kabir Masari, with Shettima.

On its part, the APP claimed that Tinubu was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the poll by virtue of the provisions of Sections 131(c) and 142 of the Constitution and Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2022.

Responding, the APC faulted the claim by the AA that its presidential candidate was excluded from the election, arguing that its known candidate, Mr Al-Mustapha, participated in the election.

It stated that contrary to AA’s claim, Tinubu “was duly elected and returned as the President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having won the majority of lawful votes cast in the said election devoid of corrupt practices or vices and in substantial compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2022 (as amended).”

It argued that the ground on which the AA brought its petition “is not meritorious and facts in support of same are not availing to validate the petitioners’ claims and/or purported right to present the instant petition.”

The APC added that Okanigbuan (listed as the 2nd petitioner “is not the 1st petitioner’s (AA’s validly nominated and sponsored candidate to contest the presidential elections held on Feb. 25.

APC also argued that as against the AA’s claim, INEC (listed as the 1st respondent) did not unlawfully exclude Okanigbuan’s name because he was never the lawfully nominated and sponsored candidate of the petitioner, which did not submit his name to INEC as its candidate for the election.

It added that there is no evidence that the AA conducted a valid primary from which Okanigbuan emerged as a candidate, noting that Al-mustapha was the actual candidate of the AA, who was recognised by INEC.

The APC stated that Okanigbuan was not nominated and sponsored by the AA as its candidate to contest the presidential elections, adding that the party “was not and could not have been excluded from the election as it participated in the presidential election with the 4th respondent (Al-mustapha) as its candidate” who participated in the election and scored 14,542 votes.

In its notice of preliminary objection, the APC questioned the competence of the petition, noting that it was based solely on pre-election issues.

It said: “For an election petition to be competent, it must complain against the return and/or election of the winner of the disputed election.

“The instant petition is neither challenging and/or questioning the election of the 2nd and/or 3rd respondent (APC/Tinubu).

“The petition as presently constituted amounts to a pre-election matter of nomination and sponsorship of candidate(s).

“The crux of the petition being the nomination and sponsorship of the 1st petitioner’s candidate is statute barred, having not been commenced within the mandatory 14 days provided for under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999;

“Issues of nomination, sponsorship and exclusion of candidates for an election are issues that precede the conduct of an election and are pre-election matters that cannot be raised or canvased before an election tribunal.

“Facts in support of the petition speak to intra —party issues, pre-election disputes and administrative actions of INEC triable by Federal High Court under Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered by the 4th Alteration Act and outside the original jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal being a Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.”

Also in its reply, the APC prayed the tribunal to dismiss APM’s petition.

The party, in its preliminary objection equally filed on Sunday, argued that “the petitioner (APM) alone in the absence of its sponsored candidate cannot benefit and did not have any special interest in the election or return of the 3rd respondent (Tinubu) as the winner of the election.

The APC queried the legal capacity of the party to challenge the mode it adopted in nominating its candidate.

The APC argued that since the APM was not a member of the party, it did not know “how it becomes the petitioner’s business how it nominates its candidates.

“The petitioner does not fall under the category of persons that can challenge the internal working operation of the 2nd respondent (APC) regarding the nomination and sponsorship of the 2nd respondent’s candidates for the election.”

The APC equally faulted the competence of the petition by the APP, arguing that the grounds on which it was founded is not sustainable.

It described the petition as frivolous and an attempt to waste the court’s time.

NAN also reports that the presidential candidates of Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, are also challenging the election.

Tinubu and Shettima, the vice president-elect, are, however, within time to respond to all the petitions.

NAN reports that based on provisions of the law, a respondent has within 21 days to reply to a petition after a service. (NAN)


Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man of many traditional honours across the country, from north to south, west to east. The array of titles he has garnered was only comparable to that of Chief Moshood Abiola, winner of the 1993 Presidential election.


Subscribe to our Newsletter to be updated.