The Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja has ordered the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to prove his case against Bola Tinubu’s victory within three weeks.
Mr Tinubu, who won the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is fighting to keep his mandate at the court.
Atiku is alleging widespread electoral practices in the conduct of the polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He accused the electoral commission of manipulating the election in favour of Mr Tinubu.
Following INEC’s declaration of Mr Tinubu as the winner of the election on 1 March, Atiku lodged his complaint over the outcome of the polls on 21 March.
Presenting its pre-hearing session report on Atiku’s joint petition with the PDP against Mr Tinubu, a five-member panel of the court headed by Haruna Tsammani, on Tuesday, said “there shall be no oral examination of witnesses.”
Setting the timeliness for the adjudication of the substantive petition, the court said star witnesses would have 30 minutes to testify before it.
Stephen Adah, a member of the five-man panel who reeled out the trial schedule, said cross-examination of star witnesses would take 20 minutes each, while re-examination is limited to five minutes.
Atiku had through his team of lawyers led by Chris Uche, a SAN, requested the statutory seven weeks to present his 100 witnesses, but the court reduced the period to three weeks.
Hearing in Atiku’s petition commences on 30 May while proceedings will end on 8 Agust before the 16 September date which the petition will lapse.
For the respondents, Mr Tinubu and the APC have a week to prove their case, while INEC has five days to defend its case.
Meanwhile, the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) has only a day to prove its petition against INEC, Mr Tinubu and the APC.