...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The Allied Peoples Movement (APM) has announced its intention to challenge the legitimacy of President-elect Bola Tinubu by presenting one witness.
Tinubu, who ran as the presidential candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election, will face scrutiny from the APM.
During proceedings at the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja, Mr. S. Abubakar, the lawyer representing the APM, stated that while they plan to present only one witness, they will provide substantial documentary evidence to support their case against the President-elect.
Important agreements were reached among the parties involved, including the allocation of time for questioning witnesses.
According to the agreed procedures, star witnesses will have 20 minutes to testify, followed by a 25-minute cross-examination and a 5-minute re-examination.
Abubakar also revealed that the exchange of a list of documents to be relied upon and the filing and serving of expert witness reports should occur at least 48 hours before the hearing.
Notably, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, and the 5th respondent, Aminu Masari, expressed their intentions to present their own witnesses in the proceedings.
The core argument put forth by the APM centers around the withdrawal of Ibrahim Masari, who was originally nominated as the APC’s Vice-Presidential candidate.
The APM claims that this withdrawal rendered Tinubu’s candidacy invalid, resulting in a three-week gap before Senator Kashim Shettima replaced Masari as the running mate.
The APM contends that at the time of Shettima’s nomination, Tinubu was no longer constitutionally eligible to select a running mate.
They argue that Masari’s initial nomination, followed by his withdrawal, undermined the principle of a joint ticket as outlined in the constitution.
As a result, the APM seeks a ruling from the court declaring Shettima ineligible to run as the Vice-Presidential candidate in the election, which would nullify all votes for Tinubu and revoke his Certificate of Return.
Furthermore, they request that the candidate with the second highest number of valid votes be declared the winner of the election.