Thursday, 4 July 2019

87-year-old Ben Nwabueze appears at tribunal as Atiku’s lead counsel on wheelchair

Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, appeared as the lead counsel of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the tribunal on Thursday.

Atiku and the PDP started calling their witnesses at the presidential election petition tribunal in Abuja on Thursday.

Nwabueze, who was earlier wheeled into the courtroom, appealed to the court to be allowed to be seated while addressing the bench, and his request was granted.

While struggling to announce the names of the lawyers in his team, Livy Uzoukwu, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who had been the lead counsel, came to his rescue.

After the announcement on appearance was over, Nwabueze spoke briefly, thanking the tribunal for for granting his first request.

He said despite his age, he attended the proceedings to show the importance of the case. Nwabueze said the outcome of the tribunal will have an impact on future elections.

In what he described as his “short remark” which he sought to be allowed to deliver, Nwabueze said, “The determination of the petition will certainly impact on future elections and constitutionalism in the country.”

He said “notwithstanding of my my age and attendant health challenges”, he  attended the proceedings “to underscore the importance” of the case.

On closing his remark, he took permission to leave the courtroom. Nwabueze endorsed Atiku in the buildup to the 2019 elections.

Subsequently, Yunus Usman (SAN) announced appearance as the lead counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission; Mike Igbokwe (SAN) for President Muhammadu Buhari, and Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), for the APC.

Meanwhile, Uzoukwu who took over the leadership of the petitioners’ legal team had announced that they would be starting the case with Niger State.

About 50 boxes containing electoral materials from Niger, Jigawa, Kebbi, and Yobe states, have been brought into the court.

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