By Tai Emeka Obasi.
Four of the 10 days granted by the Tribunal for Atiku and PDP to prove that Muhammadu Buhari and APC did not win the last Presidential Election have been utilised by the petitioners.
Any neutral observer must have noted that those four days were very efficiently utilised by the counsels to the petitioners led by Prof Ben Nwabueze but mostly represented in court by Dr. Livy Uzoukwu, SAN.
So far, the petitioners have tendered over 31,000 materials admitted as exhibits as well as called 19 witnesses to the witness box in a mixed grill of pace that many times caught the three legal teams of the respondents napping.
From statements on oath from those witnesses so far, it is getting clearer to the keenly watching world that Atiku and PDP were not crying foul just to hear their voices. The allegations of huge electoral irregularities were as clear as daylight while the hugely contentious INEC server has been all but confirmed in both existence and usage during the contentious election.
From the rigorous and roundhouse questions conjured in name of cross-examination by the trio of Yinus Usman, SAN, Wole Olanipekun, SAN and Lateef Fagbemi, SAN respectively representing INEC, Buhari and APC … a keen eye will detect that all the respondents are after are technical hitches with which to knock out the petition.
But technical failings may not be the perfect tactic in this very petition as each of the five grounds are sewn so tightly that each can send Buhari packing. Knocking all five off on technicalities is certainly going to be one very difficult, if not impossible, mission.
Today, Thusday, July 11 is another day – day 5 precisely – for the petitioners to continue to prove their case. Who knows what evidences in materials and human witnesses they will be bringing up next. The visibly calm team of revered legal personnel are playing very close to the chest. And why not? The stakes are so high that just one slip and there will be no safety net.
The Abuja Appeal Court is the place to be as from 9.30am today.