Renown constitutional lawyer, Prof. Nwabueze (SAN), appeared as the lead counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the petitioners set to start calling their witnesses at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja on Thursday.
Shortly after the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal began sitting about 10.40am, Nwabueze who was earlier wheeled into the courtroom appealed to the court to be allowed to be seated while addressing the bench.
His request was granted by the tribunal.
He was barely audible while announcing the names of other lawyers appearing with him.
He eventually had to hand over the role to Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), who had from the beginning, been leading the petitioners’ team.
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.
After the bar closed the announcement of the appearance, Nwabueze expressed “gratitude” to the tribunal “for granting me my first request”.
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.
His request was granted and he subsequently wheeled out of the courtroom.
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. [PUNCH]