Presidential poll: Tribunal adjourns Atiku’s petition to May 18

THE Presidential Election Petition Court has adjourned hearing of the petition filed by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar against the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.

The hearing was adjourned to Thursday, May 18.

The matter was adjourned after the counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), informed the court that counsels representing Tinubu, APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have agreed to discuss how to harmonise and streamline vital areas and components of the pre-hearing conference.

Uche said the counsels involved in the petition intend to set up a team and examine the documents to be used.

According to him, this is to eliminate objections while tendering them during the hearing.

“We intend to do that and conclude between Monday and Tuesday and then prepare a schedule of documents to facilitate the proceedings.”

He noted that the counsels involved in the petition have agreed to file responses to all pending motions, including a recent petition which seeks to have the court proceedings broadcasted live.

The counsels all agreed to come back to court on Thursday, May 18, for the continuation of the pre-hearing session.

The counsel representing INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, confirmed the agreement, noting that the electoral body applied to strike out specific paragraphs of the petition.

The counsel to the President-elect, Wole Olanipekun, disclosed that he would file his response to the petition seeking a live broadcast of the proceedings.

Responding to the submissions, head of the tribunal, Justice Haruna Tsammani ruled that the petition is adjourned.

He said he has considered the agreement of the parties and directed parties to remain committed to the agreement to enable a quick conclusion of the matter.

Following the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election, Atiku had filed a petition challenging the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He alleged that the poll was marred by irregularities in thousands of polling units.

The PDP candidate asked that the court declare him Nigeria’s President-elect or nullify the election and order a rerun.

He argued that INEC’s failure to transmit the election results in real-time electronically compromised the outcome of the presidential poll.

“By reason of the foregoing, there could not have been any valid and lawful collation and announcement of the result of the election under the Electoral Act, without the prior electronic transmission from the polling units to INEC …IReV portal using the BVAS,” he said.

The pre-hearing of the petition commenced on Thursday morning, May 11.

On March 1, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, declared Tinubu the election winner, having polled the highest votes.






     

     

    Tinubu got 8,794,726 votes.

    According to the electoral body, Atiku came second after he polled a total of 6,984,520 votes.

    Peter Obi, the candidate of the Labour Party, came third with 6,101,533 votes, while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.

    Obi is also challenging Tinubu’s victory, having also asked the court to declare him the winner or cancel the election and order a rerun.

    Beloved John is an investigative reporter with International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

    You can reach her via: [email protected]

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