At the Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting in Abuja, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Oluwakemi Pinheiro, SAN, presented one of the commission’s staff members, John Arabs, as a witness.
The witness submitted in evidence letters and forms indicating that Vice President Kashim Shettima withdrew from the 2023 Senatorial race before he was nominated as President Bola Tinubu’s running mate.
Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, aligned with INEC and urged the court to declare that Shettima violated no electoral law contrary to the Allied Peoples Movement’s claim that Shettima engaged in double nomination against provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
The panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani fixed July 14 for parties’ adoption of their final written address after the petitioner tendered a sole witness on Wednesday to testify against the nomination of Vice President Kashim Shettima by President Bola Tinubu.
The final written address paves way for judgement in APM’s petition.
THE WHISTLER reports that the APM in its petition alleged that Shettima was still the All Progressives Congress Senatorial District candidate for Borno South when he accepted to be the running mate to Tinubu.
The case has been adjourned about three times since June 2 over parties’ inability to access certified true copies of a Supreme Court judgement that touched on Tinubu’s nomination of Shettima.
But when the court judgement was eventually accessed by parties, APM through another lawyer, G.A. Idiagoya, told the five-man panel of the apex court that the verdict did not touch the substance of their case against Shettima, saying “we are of the opinion that we can still proceed with our petition.”
At the resumed date of hearing on Wednesday, APM’s sole witness, Aisha Abubakar entered the witness box and adopted her statement on oath.
Under cross-examination by INEC lawyer, Oluwakemi Pinheiro SAN, Abubakar said he’s unaware when Shettima filed a notice of withdrawal from the senatorial election and when the electoral umpire was notified with relevant documents.
When interrogated by the counsel for the APC, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, she was presented with the said Supreme Court judgement that had earlier quashed the double nomination case against Shettima which was filed by the Peoples Democratic party.
She was asked to read several portions of the judgement in open court and she did.
From the supreme court decision, the PDP was berated in a unanimous decision for trying to mislead the general public and the court over Shettima’s nomination as running mate to TInubu, ahead of the February 25 presidential poll.
She admitted that the supreme court document is a certified true copy.