Hope Democratic Party (HDP), on Monday, closed its case against Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja.
This is even as the last witness for the party, Yusuf Ibrahim, urged the tribunal to declare candidate of the party, Chief Albert Ambrose Owuru the winner of the 2019 presidential election.
The party closed its case while the tribunal fixed August 5 for parties to adopt their final address.
This followed the decision of INEC, Buhari and APC not to call any witness to debunk claims of the HDP but to rely on the party’s sole witness for their defence in the petition.
Owuru and the HDP had in their petitions filed on March 7, 2019 canvassed nullification of the election of President Buhari on three grounds; that they were unlawfully excluded in the poll, that the February 23 poll was illegal, unconstitutional and a nullity because INEC has no power to shift the poll and that a referendum conducted on February 16 produced him as winner.
The witness, Ibrahim further prayed the tribunal that Owuru should be inaugurated as president of the Nigeria.
Giving evidence, Ibrahim said his call was based on a referendum conducted in the country on February 16, the day the presidential election was initially slated.
Ibrahim, who was led in evidence by HDP’s lawyer, Eze Nnayelugo, told the tribunal that a referendum conducted on February 16 placed Owuru winner by over 50 million Nigerians.
The witness attacked the shift of the presidential election from February 16 to February 23 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and described the election of
He said the shift of the election to February 23 was illegal, unconstitutional and a nullity because conditions president for shifting election were not met by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ibrahim further informed the tribunal that ‘Citizens Observers Referendum Election Rights Protection of Nigeria’ conducted the referendum across the country and that Owuru of the HDP won and emerged as Nigeria’s president.
The witness insisted that the referendum was held physically and not in the spiritual realms as claimed by President Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress (APC) and INEC.
Ibrahim tendered some documents, among which are; Citizens Observers Referendum Election Rights Protection of Nigeria, Final List of Presidential Candidate and copies of major newspapers to buttress his claim on the referendum.
Besides, the witness also alleged unlawful exclusion of the HDP in the February 23 poll by INEC refusal to put its original logo on the ballot papers as done to other parties by INEC.
Under cross examination by INEC’s lawyer, Yunus Usman (SAN), the witness admitted that INEC has sole responsibility of conducting election for the country.
When also asked to produce the results of the referendum before the tribunal, Ibrahim said it was not with him.
When he was also cross examined by APC’s lawyer, Akin Olujimi (SAN), the witness said that the referendum of February 16 was physical.