President Tinubu did not need 25 percent votes in FCT to be declared winner, witness tells Court

…As Tinubu, APC close Defence

A witness, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Micheal Bamidele on Wednesday told the Presidential Election Petition Court(PEPC), that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not need to score 25 percent of votes cast in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be declared winner of the February 25 election.

The witness, who was crossed examined by Eyitayo Jegede, SAN counsel to Atiku Abubakar and the People Democratic Party, PDP said although Abuja is the federal capital of Nigeria it has no special status other than that.

When asked if the committee reports on the location of FCT recommends a special status for FCT, the witness said is a symbol of unity, maintaining that other state capitals such as Kano, Ibadan, Enugu, and others are also centers of unity.

He agreed with the petitioner’s counsel that President Tinubu scored 19.4 percent of total votes cast in FCT.

When asked if Tinubu would emerge as the first person to be declared president without scoring 25 percent votes in FCT and not winning his home state, the witness said “it does not matter.”

According to the witness, the judgment of the US court on the forfeiture of $460,000 for Narcotic drug offence has Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s name on it front page but not as a criminal suspect .It was a civil proceedings, he said, insisting that it was civil forfeiture and not a criminal forfeiture.

Under examination by counsel to (APC) the witness agreed that there cannot be a conviction without a charge, trial, or indictment and that exhibits AR7 letter from Inspector General of Police and another letter from American Embassy ,marked as exhibit AR8 gave Tinubu a clean bill of health as far as an indictment of criminal record in the US is concerned.

The witness said by the judgment of the federal high court Abuja, in a suit filed by Labour Party against INEC on the method of collation of election results held that INEC is at liberty to use any method of collation it deems fit.

After the testimony of President Tinubu’s sole witness, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN announced the closure of Tinubu’s defence, while Lateef Fagbemi, SAN also announced the closure of APC’s defence without calling a witness.

Fagbemi said, “Having taken a sober reflection of the entire case we have enough evidence and we are not calling any witness, we announced the closure of the case of the 3rd respondent”

Meanwhile, the PEPC has given the respondents 10 days to file their final written addresses, and the petitioner 7 days to respond and 5 days to reply on point of law.

President of the Presidential election petition Court Justice Haruna Tsammani
said that the parties would be communicated on the date for the adoption of the final written addresses.