President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is scheduled to open his defence on July 5 at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) in Abuja. The petition against his electoral victory in the February 25 presidential election was filed by Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate.

Following Tinubu’s declaration as the winner of the disputed election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 1, 2023, he has decided to begin his defence.

This decision comes after INEC abruptly terminated its own defence in Obi’s petition, despite initially planning to present three witnesses to justify the conduct of the poll. INEC’s lead counsel, Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, announced the closure of the INEC defence during Tuesday’s proceedings.

Tinubu’s lawyer informed the court that his client is fully prepared to commence the defence on July 5, presenting witnesses and documents to substantiate his victory in the presidential election.

During the proceedings, INEC witness, Dr Lawrence Bayode, acknowledged that the electoral body encountered glitches during the presidential election. However, he maintained that these glitches did not affect the conduct of the election, result collation, or the declaration of final results.

Regarding the allegations of blurred result sheets on INEC’s portal, the Deputy Director of Information and Communication clarified that clear result sheets can still be obtained upon request.

The Court has rescheduled further hearing in the petition to July 5.