Tribunal criticises Labour Party, Obi, for lack of preparedness

Peter Obi’s legal team’s failure to properly file and schedule documents leads to criticism and adjournment by court.

In a recent hearing at the Presidential Election Petitions Court, the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, faced criticism for their lack of preparedness in their petition against the victory of President Bola Tinubu.

The court session on Thursday, June 01, 2023, saw one of the senior lawyers on the petitioners’ legal team, Emeka Okpoko, attempting to submit electoral documents as exhibits. However, the documents were found to have not been properly filed and scheduled before the court, causing a delay in the proceedings; Channels TV reports.

As a result, the court decided to temporarily suspend the hearing for 10 minutes, requesting the legal team to re-file the schedule of documents in accordance with the pre-hearing report.

However, upon reconvening, the petitioners’ legal team appeared to still lack coordination, leading to further dissatisfaction among the five-man panel of Justices, headed by Haruna Tsammani. The panel advised the petitioners to request an adjournment in order to properly organise their documents, expressing disappointment at the wasted time due to the counsels’ underestimation of the task at hand.

In response to the court’s suggestion, Awa Kalu, another senior lawyer representing the petitioners, announced that they would not be seeking an adjournment as recommended. Instead, they would proceed to tender the 16 Local Government Areas. Up to this point, the Labour Party has already submitted evidence from six states.

The hearing has been adjourned until June 2nd for the continuation of proceedings, allowing the petitioners an opportunity to address the court’s concerns and present their case with proper organisation and preparation.

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