‘Dismiss Atiku’s Petition’ – Buhari Prays Presidential Election Tribunal

‘Dismiss Atiku’s Petition’ – Buhari Prays Presidential Election Tribunal

By News Agency of Nigeria on June 13, 2019
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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the main challenger in the 2019 presidential elections (left) and Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent president (right)
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the main challenger in the 2019 presidential elections (left) and Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent president (right)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar against his February 23, 2019, re-election.

Buhari made the prayer through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, in a motion adopted and argued on Tuesday before Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man panel in Abuja.

Olanipekun submitted that the petition was fundamentally defective, adding that his client won the presidential “square and clear’’.

He explained that the allegations advanced by the petitioners were mere theoretical assumptions that could not stand the test of critical legal debate.

The tribunal also entertained the president’s motion that sought to effect amendment on the identities and addresses of counsel representing him.

Another of Buhari’s application seeking to mandate the tribunal to entertain all interlocutory motions before the commencement of proper hearing of the main petition was also adopted and argued.

Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition brought by PDP and Atiku against a “flawless’’ election that won by Buhari.

Yunus Usman, SAN, a counsel for INEC said that the electoral commission would standby the declaration of the second respondent (Buhari) as winner of the February 23, 2019, presidential election.

Usman said the petition challenging the outcome of the exercise was “misguided’’, adding that the allegations of fraud made against the electoral body was “mischievous’’.

Usman further urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition as the petitioners failed to include the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a co-winner in the election.

“The failure of the PDP and Atiku to include Osinbajo’s name as party should not be overlooked because whatever affects the president affects his running mate,’’ Usman said.

Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, a counsel for the APC had urged the tribunal to strike out 18 paragraphs of the petition with frivolous assumptions among other prayers.

He submitted that the competence of the petition was questionable, adding that it would soon become a mere “lame duck’’.

Meanwhile, Dr Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners prayed the tribunal to discountenance all the arguments canvassed by the respondents, describing INEC’s position in the matter as “unusual”.

The presiding judge, therefore, fixed June 13, 2019, for the petitioners’ motions to be heard, NAN reports.

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