Did Peter Obi request seven weeks from Tribunal to produce witnesses?
A report had claimed the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Saturday, May 20, demanded seven weeks to produce witnesses to establish his case at the Presidential Election Petition Court.
Mr Peter Obi during pre-hearing of his petition against Bola Tinubu of All Progressives Congress (APC) was quoted to have made the statement while addressing the court through his team of lawyers led by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN.
According to reports, Obi allegedly constrained to demand for the seven weeks, owing to “a few hiccups” he encountered at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“My lords, we still have a few hiccups at INEC because of the order that was made by this court on March 8, directing them to allow us to carry out a forensic examination of the BVAS. They have not allowed us.
“We are also waiting for some documents we requested from them,” Obi’s counsel, Prof Kalu was quoted as saying in the report.
Checks by TRIBUNE ONLINE revealed the report was misrepresentation of what Obi’s counsel presented before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The spokesperson for the LP candidate has also debunked the viral report.
“Peter Obi did not ask the court to give him seven weeks to bring in his witnesses. He only implied he will be through with all 50 of them in seven weeks.
“In proposing his schedule of witnesses, Eme Awa Kalu, SAN leading the team in court, had told the court that Peter Obi and Labour Party would be presenting 50 witnesses and that these 50 witnesses, will require 7 weeks to present their evidence before the Tribunal.
“At no time did the Counsel say that he required ‘Seven weeks to produce witnesses’ as misreported by the Punch. The correct interpretation of what our lawyers told the court unambiguously is that the presentation of our witnesses, from start to finish, will take seven weeks. We are not asking the court to wait for seven weeks before we bring in the first witness as the Punch story tries to imply.
“It is expected that every media house will assign competent reporters to cover this important case.
We expect the Punch Newspaper to immediately correct this misrepresentation with the same front page headline with which it was presented to the public,” Diran Onifade, Head, Obi-Datti Media said in a statement obtained by TRIBUNE ONLINE on Sunday.