Presidential poll: Tribunal adjourns Atiku, PDP’s petitions to Saturday


The Presidential Election Petition Court has adjourned pre-hearing in the petitions filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election until Saturday, May 20.

The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, made the declaration after listening to the agreement by all counsel in the petition on their applications and suggestions in resolving issues on Friday, May 19.

Justice Tsammani said the court recognised that the issues the parties were to resolve were narrow and that they should come back on Saturday

He therefore adjourned until Saturday for continuation of pre-hearing.

In the petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and PDP are challenging the outcome of the February 25, 2023, presidential election.

Respondents in the case are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Bola Tinubu, and All Progressives Congress (APC).

Earlier, the counsel for the petitioners, Chris Uche, SAN, told the court that various applications served by the respondents have been answered by the petitioners.

The counsel for INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, said he filed two applications which he hoped to adopt and rely on.

The first application, he said, was filed on April 19 seeking the order of the court to strike out the 32 paragraphs listed in the petition.

The second one, he added, was filed on May 7 seeking for an order of the court to strike out the reply on point of law.

Responding, Uche told the court that in opposition to the applications, INEC was fighting a proxy war which a neutral body should not do.

“INEC ought not to be here to fight the battle of Tinubu, INEC ought to be neutral and at best, defend only the election,” he said.

Counsel for Tinubu, Wole Olanipakun, SAN, asked Yusuf Ali, one of Tinubu’s counsel, to take the applications.

He told the court that the 2nd respondent filed three applications on May 13, striking out the entire petition.

He urged the court to dismiss the petition as incompetent.

Responding, Uche urged the court to dismiss the applications of the 2nd respondent for lacking in merit and hear the petition on its merit

Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, said he filed two applications on May 8, the 1st is praying for 15 reliefs asking for the dismissal of the petition.

He added that the 2nd application date, May 8, is asking for an order striking out some identified paragraphs of the petition.

He adopted it and urged the court to grant the applications.

Responding, Uche said the petitioners filed a counter on May 13 and May 14 in response to the 3rd respondent’s application.

He urged the court to dismiss the 3rd respondent’s applications for wanting in merit.

Meanwhile, the court reserved ruling on all the applications.

The petitioners’ counsel, Uche, told the court that they have agreed to come together and sort out the modalities to apply.

Responding, all respondents counsel separately told the court that it was just mentioned but not agreed on yet.

They urged the court to give them until Monday to sort things out.

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