13 May How Election Petitions Against Tinubu Are Faring So Far
The Presidential Election Presidential Court (PEPC) began sitting in Abuja on Monday, May 8, even as plans for the swearing-in of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, continue. Upon resuming sitting, the Court of Appeal unveiled the list of judges who would be presiding over the various petitions challenging the outcome of the election. The justices are: the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Haruna Tsammani; Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal Asaba division, Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Court of Appeal also of Asaba Division; Justice Boloukuoromo Ugoh of Kano division and Justice Abba Mohammed of Ibadan Court of Appeal.
Orodata had reported that there are five petitions challenging Tinubu’s victory at the tribunal. The report details the various prayers of the petitioners and their grounds for appeal.
So how are the petitions faring days after the commencement of pre-hearing on Monday? We gathered that two of the petitions have been dismissed on the petitioners’ requests while hearings of the other three have been adjourned till next week.
The petition of the Action Alliance was dismissed by the court upon its withdrawal by the party’s counsel. The petition challenged the omission of the party’s ‘real’ candidate, Solomon Okanigbuan in the list uploaded on the portal of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
However, the dismissal of the petition came with a bit of drama. The acclaimed ‘real’ presidential candidate of the party, Okanigbuan, was in court alongside the party chairman, Adekunle Omo-aje who stood to represent the party. After announcing his appearance, another lawyer, Oba Maduabuchi announced his appearance for the AA party. Seconds after, one Malachi Umuebe also announced his appearance for the same party.
But maintaining his stance as the representative of the party, Maduabuchi sought the order of the court to withdraw the petition in its entirety. He argued that the AA did not consent to be joined in the petition.
Counsel for the respondent, Abubakar Mahmoud did not object to the demand for withdrawal. “The petition is hereby dismissed,” Justice Tsammani announced in a brief ruling.
The Action Peoples Party (APP) also withdrew its petition challenging Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
At the pre-hearing session on Monday, Obed Agu, APP’s lawyer, stated that the parties involved would settle the disputes amicably.
The petition was withdrawn on Wednesday without objection nor demand for cost from Abubakar Mahmoud, counsel to INEC; Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Tinubu; and Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to APC.
The pre-hearing of the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) has been adjourned to May 18, 2023, for continuation.
In the petition marked CA/ABJ/PEPC/04/2022, the party is challenging the presidential election results on the grounds of alleged irregularities including the mutilation of election results.
The petition of the People’s Democratic Party was also adjourned to Thursday, May 18, 2023, for the continuation of pre-hearing after it was first called on Thursday, May 11.
In the petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, the PDP and Atiku are challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The petition of the Labour Party against Tinubu’s victory was also adjourned to next Wednesday, May 17, after it was first called for pre-hearing on Wednesday, May 10.
The counsels for the Labour Party submitted the request for an adjournment and it was supported by the counsels to the respondents.
As many Nigerians are agitated about the outcome of the tribunal, the Justices presiding over the tribunal have assured that justice would be served.