By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA- The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, made his first appearance at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, where President Muhammadu Buhari’s election is being challenged by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are challenging the outcome of the February 23 Presidential election that was declared in favour of President Buhari of the APC.
The petitioners are praying the tribunal to sack Buhari and declare Atiku as valid winner of the presidential contest, or in the alternative, order a fresh presidential election.
The petitioners had since tendered result sheets from 10 states, comprising of results from Polling Units, Wards and Local Government Areas of the states.
At the resumed hearing, Oshiomhole who had yet to attend the proceedings since May 15 when the tribunal held its inaugural sitting, announced his appearance for the APC on Monday.
The PDP was represented by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.
PDP and Atiku had in their joint petition marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, insisted that data they independently secured from INEC’s back-end server, revealed that they defeated President Buhari at the poll with over 1.6million votes.
They alleged that INEC had at various stages of the presidential election, unlawful allocated votes to President Buhari, saying they would adduce oral and documentary evidence to show that result of the election as announced by the electoral body, did not represent the lawful valid votes cast
Atiku and PDP alleged that in some states, INEC deducted lawful votes that accrued to him, in its bid to ensure that Buhari was returned back to office.
The petitioners said they would call evidence of statisticians, forensic examiners and finger-print experts at the hearing of the petition to establish that the scores credited to Buhari were not the product of actual votes validly cast at the polling units.
The petitioners said they intend to call 400 witnesses, “or as many as possible within the prescribed time”, to prove their case.
All the respondents had since filed processes to challenge the competence of the petition they said should be dismissed for want of merit and substance.