Presidential Election Tribunal holds pre-hearing sitting next week Monday

THE Presidential Election Petition Court (PETC) will hold a pre-hearing sitting on various petitions challenging the declaration of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the presidential poll, on Monday, May 8.

According to Channels Television, Tinubu’s legal team confirmed the sitting on Wednesday, May 3.

The pre-hearing will allow pending applications to be resolved before setting a timetable for the hearing of substantive matters in the petitions.

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.

According to INEC, Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar had 6,984,520, while the Labour Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, polled 6,101,533.

The PDP and LP candidates have rejected the result. Both parties have approached the tribunal with separate petitions to challenge Tinubu’s victory.

They alleged that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the election and that he failed to secure the majority of lawful votes cast at the poll.

They are also contesting that Tinubu’s running mate, Kashim Shettima, had a double nomination contrary to the Electoral Act.

In addition, some other political parties have also filed petitions against the presidential election.

Petitioners and respondents, including INEC, have exchanged processes and filed replies.

The petitioners stopped submitting replies on April 23. The tribunal will now hear the arguments of all parties involved before rendering a judgment.

An election petition must be heard and judgment delivered within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition.

At the tribunal level (Appeal Court in case of a presidential election), the timeframe is 180 days (6 months).

At the appeal level (Supreme Court in case of presidential election) it is 60 days (2 months).

In total, the petitions will last for 240 days (8 months).

You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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