By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
The hearing in the petition filed by the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has been adjourned by the Presidential Election Petition Court due to the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to open up defence.
The court announced that the hearing will resume on Tuesday, 4th July 2023.
The reason for the adjournment was the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) inability to present its defence, owing to the absence of three crucial witnesses.
This development comes even after INEC had been given a week from the date the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar concluded their case on June 23, 2023.
The PDP and Atiku Abubakar had presented 27 witnesses in support of their claims during their case. Likewise, the Labour Party and Peter Obi had wrapped up their case on the same day, bringing forward 13 witnesses and submitting vital documents as evidence. The court duly admitted these documents as exhibits.
At the core of the dispute lies the allegation that INEC failed to conduct the election in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act (2022). The petitioners assert that INEC had promised to transmit the presidential election results electronically through the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System and INEC Results Viewing Portal but failed to fulfil this commitment.
Furthermore, the Labour Party and Peter Obi have levelled accusations of electoral malpractices during the elections.