Just In: Tribunal Overrules Buhari, INEC, Admits Video Evidence

The presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja has turned down the objection by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), its presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari and the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the move by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to tender video recordings as evidence.

Vanguard reports that the tribunal on Monday, July 15, admitted in evidence, video recordings that allegedly depicted how the February 23 presidential election was manipulated in favor of President Muhammadu Buhari.

We gathered that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel tribunal admitted the 48 video compact discs, into evidence, after it dismissed objections that were raised by President Buhari, the APC, and the INEC, who are respondents to the petition that was lodged by the PDP and Abubakar.

Justice Garba held that all the parties had agreed during the pre-hearing stage of the petition to only indicate their objection to any evidence sought to be tendered, and reserve their reasons for the written address.

The tribunal held that all the parties were bound by the agreement and could not renege or deliberately deviate from any of the terms.

Justice Garba noted that in the pre-hearing agreement, no particular or specific document was excluded from being tendered from the Bar.

“The document now tendered from the Bar is clearly within the terms of agreement adopted by parties,” he said.

Consequently, the tribunal admitted the video evidence and marked them as exhibits P-36 to P-83. It also admitted certificate of compliance with respect to the videos as exhibit P-37.

The respondents had opposed the admissibility of the exhibits they said was not front loaded by the petitioners.

They contended that the exhibits were in breach of Paragraph 4(6c) and 41(2) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act.

The petitioners had through their lawyer, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, applied for the videos to be played. A big screen was earlier mounted inside the court to enable the Justices to watch the videos.

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