The Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned till Thursday,May 18 for the continuation of pre-hearing session in the petition brought before it by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party .
Atiku’s petition is seeking the nullification of the election of the President -Elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on several grounds including their prayer that Tinubu was not qualify to contest the February 25, 2023 general election.
The adjournment followed the report of the agreement reached by counsel to the petitioners and the respondents in the matter.
When the petition was called, Counsel to the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), informed the court that counsel for respective parties have met to put head together to harmonize and to streamline the vital areas and components of the pre-hearing conference.
According to Uche, counsel in the matter have agreed to set up a team together to look at the documents in order to eliminate objections while tendering them from the Bar 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”, and he further said that the Petitioners have filed their issues for the determination of the court.
The senior lawyer said the petitioners have one pending application, seeking live broadcast of the proceedings in the matter, filed on May 7 and yet to receive the responses of the respondents, even thought, they have been served.
He said counsel in the matter have agreed to file responses to all pending motions and come back to court on Thursday, May 28 for continuation of pre-hearing session.
Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed the agreement and added that, the electoral body filed an application seeking the striking out of certain paragraphs of the petition.
Counsel to the president-elect, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), also confirmed the agreement and added that he will file his response to the petitioners application seeking live broadcast of the proceedings latest Monday.
Charles Edosomwa (SAN), representing APC consented to the agreement and added that, the 3rd respondent filed an application for the dismissal of the petition and another one, for the striking out of certain paragraphs as well as the 3rd respondent’s preliminary objection.
In a ruling, the presiding Justice, Justice Haruna Tsammani said, he has considered the agreement of parties and directed that parties to remain committed to the agreement to enable quick conclusion of the matter.
He consequently adjourned till Thursday, May 18 for continuation of pre-hearing session.
In the same, the court also adjourned till same date, hearing in the pre-hearing session of the petition filed against Tinubu’s election by Allied Peoples Movement (APM), where-in it joined INEC, APC, Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and Kabiru Masari as respondents.
Like in Atiku and PDP’s case, the adjournment followed an agreement to that effect by counsel to the petitioner and respondents in the matter.
Atiku Abubakar, accompanied by the leaders of the PDP, followers, sympathisers and business associates were in Court to witness proceedings in his petition challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
It would be recalled that Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, was on Monday and Wednesday present in Court where he witnessed proceedings in his own petition against Tinubu’s election.
Atiku Abubakar, his party and the APM, in their various petition seek the nullification of Tinubu’s election on the ground that the election was conducted in substantial non compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of the election.