The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have indicated plans to call “no more than 100 witnesses” in the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT).
Both parties are challenging the declaration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the February 25 election.
Counsel for Atiku and the PDP, Chris Uche, addressing the court in Abuja on Saturday, said all the parties had met, and considered and agreed on the numbers of witnesses, duration and examination of witnesses.
Uche added that though the new time given them to call the witnesses is seven weeks, they would need three weeks, since the issues were getting narrower.
All the parties in the suit agreed to streamline the numbers of witnesses as well as the duration of each party to call witnesses.
For the evidence in chief, they categorised them into 30 minutes for the lead witness because they will tender and identify documents.
They also proposed 15 minutes for each respondent for cross-examination and five minutes for re-examination of the lead witness of the petitioners. In addition, 10 minutes was proposed for other witnesses of the petitioners, as well as 10 minutes for cross-examination of these witnesses, by the respondents.
the star witnesses of the respondents — the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu and the APC — 30 minutes was proposed, while 30 minutes was proposed for cross-examination of the respondents’ witness, by the respondents.
INEC said it has two witnesses that will testify, while the counsel to President -elect said it had 39 witnesses ready.
For the President-elect, the report of any star witness should be made available 48 hours before hearing.
The schedule of documents to be filed must be given to other parties before the hearing and calling of witnesses.
Examination of experts/star witnesses was fixed for 20 minutes, while cross-examination by respondents was scheduled for 30 minutes.
Re-examination was fixed at five minutes. Examination of non-experts/star witness was scheduled for 10 minutes; cross-examination, 15 minutes; and re-examination at five minutes.
(Courtesy, excluding headline, Channels TV)