The Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has fixed April 3, 2017, for the adoption of final written addresses of all parties in the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The three-man panel gave the ruling after the third respondent, the All Progressives Congress, closed its defence on Wednesday.
The PDP and Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration of Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the September 28 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The APC had earlier called two additional witnesses, including the state Chairman, Anselm Ojezua, to testify in its case.
But the eligibility of Ojezua had been objected by counsel for the petitioners, Emmanuel Okala, who argued that the state chairman could not testify since he was not listed as one of the witnesses neither summoned nor subpoenaed to appear before the tribunal.
Counsel for INEC, Onyinye Anumonye, and that of the second respondent, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), in their separate submissions, said that it was not compulsory for a witness to be listed in order to testify.
Olanipekun argued that the testimony of Ojezua had already been front-loaded to the tribunal, adding that front-loading was more important.
He also noted that, by so doing, Paragraph 12 (3) of the Electoral Act was being complied with and that issues could not be solely considered based on Paragraph 10 (3) of the Act, but on the Electoral Act as a whole.