Screenshot 2023 04 09 14 18 30 47 40deb401b9ffe8e1df2f1cc5ba480b12 | Obi denies report, tells Punch to rectify | The Paradise

Obi denies report, tells Punch to rectify

Diran Onifade, the head of Obi-Datti Media, has issued a statement refuting recent reports that claim Mr. Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has requested a seven-week extension to produce witnesses. Onifade made the statement on Sunday, May 21, 2023, stating that the report, attributed to Punch Newspaper, is false and calling on the publication to rectify the error.

The statement reads as follows:

“We have become aware of a misleading report published in Punch Newspaper (@MobilePunch) on May 20, 2023, with the headline ‘Give me seven weeks to produce witnesses, Obi tells Tribunal.’ We want to clarify that this headline misrepresents what our counsel presented before the Election Petition Tribunal.

“Peter Obi did not ask the court to grant him seven weeks to bring in his witnesses. Rather, he implied that he would conclude presenting all 50 witnesses within a span of seven weeks.

“During the proceedings, Eme Awa Kalu, SAN, who leads our legal team, informed the court that Peter Obi and the Labour Party intend to present 50 witnesses, and that these witnesses would require seven weeks to present their evidence before the Tribunal.

“At no point did our counsel state that they required ‘seven weeks to produce witnesses,’ as erroneously reported by Punch. The accurate interpretation of our lawyers’ statement is that the presentation of our witnesses, from the beginning to the end, will take approximately seven weeks. We are not requesting the court to wait for seven weeks before presenting the first witness, as implied by the Punch story.

“We expect all media outlets to assign competent reporters to cover this crucial case. We urge Punch Newspaper to promptly rectify this misrepresentation by issuing a correction with the same front-page prominence as the initial publication.”

Peter Obi, represented by his legal team led by Prof. Awa Kalu, SAN, addressed the court, citing a lack of cooperation from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the cause of the delays.

“Our lords, we are still encountering some challenges with INEC due to the court’s order on March 8, which directed them to grant us access for a forensic examination of the BVAS. However, they have not yet granted us permission,” stated Prof. Kalu. He further added, “We are also waiting for certain documents that we have requested from them.”

Source: National Pivot

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