INEC, Tinubu, APC kick against Atiku’s request for live telecast of Petition Court’s proceedings.
Court adjourns ruling indefinitely
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress APC have kicked against the request of the former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku
for live telecast of his petition challenging the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election.
In their separate objections on Thursday, the trio insisted that solemn nature of the court would be put in jeopardy if granted.
Tinubu in his vehement objections raised by Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN on his behalf said that Atiku’s request was not only surprising but dangerous as it was capable of prejudicing the Court itself.
Olanipekun told the five Justices that Atiku should not be allowed to turn the Court to a football stadium, a crusade ground a theatre or film grounds where all manners of telecast could be permitted.
The Senior lawyer said that the Court should not grant and order that cannot be enforced or supervised adding that the present moment is not the best time for such a request to be granted.
Olanipekun warned that the request if granted could expose judicial officers to avoidable dangers and demanded that heavy cost be imposed on Atiku for making the request.
Lateef Fagbemi SAN who opposed on behalf of APC faulted the request adding that the facility and policy documents are not there for the application to be granted.
He said that Atiku failed to disclose injuries he would suffer if the request was not granted adding that at the moment, nobody, including Atiku had not complain of inadequate coverage of the proceedings so far.
Fagbemi insisted that Atiku did not deserve to be granted the request
The electoral body in its own objections by its counsel, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud SAN said that Court room is for serious business and not a market place where anything goes adding that the request for live coverage is unnecessary and uncalled for and should not be granted.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani has reserved ruling on whether to grant the request or not.
Atiku had approached the Court hearing his case against the outcome of the February 25 presidential polls, for an order allowing live broadcast of the day to day proceedings regarding his petition because of its monumental importance.
Atiku and the PDP in the application specifically prayed the tribunal for “An order Directing the Court’s Registry and the parties on modalities for admission of Media Practitioners and their Equipment into the courtroom.”
The application filed on their behalf by their team of lawyers led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, is predicated amongst other grounds that: The matter before the Honourable Court is a dispute over the outcome of the Presidential Election held on 25th February 2023, a matter of national concern and public interest, involving citizens and voters in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who voted and participated in the said election; and the International Community as regards the workings of Nigeria’s Electoral Process”.
They contended that being a unique electoral dispute with a peculiar constitutional dimension, it is a matter of public interest whereof millions of Nigerian citizens and voters are stakeholders with a constitutional right to receive.
Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu have agreed not to oppose all documents that emanated from the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in the conduct of the February 25 presidential election.
The documents must however be certified as true reflection of the original copies in line with the provisions of the law guiding admissibility of documents.
These resolutions were on Thursday conveyed to the 5-man panel of Justices of the Presidential Election Petition Court hearing the joint petition of Atiku and PDP challenging the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the disputed election.
Chief Chris Uche SAN leading the legal team for Atiku conveyed the decisions of the lawyers to the Court at Thursday’s proceedings.
Tinubu, represented by legal luminary and several senior lawyers, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN corroborated the position of Atiku not to object to all certified documents from the electoral body.
The senior lawyers said that they jointly agreed to allow the documents to be freely scrutinized by the Court in order to arrive at just and fair conclusions in their judgment.
Leader of the legal team for the All Progressives Congress APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN confirmed the same position to the Court.
He explained that they agreed to the decisions to allow the documents be tendered unhindered so as to make hearing of Atiku’s petition seamless.
The electoral body through its counsel, Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud said that his client would be ready to make all the required documents available at the appropriate time as a way of ensuring speedy and expeditious hearing of all the petitions challenging the presidential election.
APM’S petition against my election is dead , it died May 26, Tinubu tells Court.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday in Abuja informed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the petition filed by the Allied People’s Movement (APM) against him and his Vice, Kashim Shetima victory is dead by the Supreme Court decision on May 26, 2023.
Tinubu said that the main issues raised by the petitioner queried ‘place holder’ by Kabir Masari and Vice President Kashim Shettima’s alleged double nomination and that the issues have been resolved by the Supreme Court last Friday in a judgment in the suit marked SC/CV/501/23 between the People’s Democratic Party PDP Vs INEC and 3 others.
He gave the information at the resumed hearing through his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN , on Tuesday. He disclosed that the PDP’S case had resolved the grievances brought before the Court by the Allied People’s Movement.
Recall that the Supreme Court had on Friday held that PDP, or any other parties, have no right to poke nose into how other parties conducted their primary elections and nominated their candidates.
The Apex Court while dismissing PDP’S case described the party as busy body and meddle some interloper and imposed a fine of N2M on the party for meddling into the internal affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Olanipekun argued that the APM’S petition was similar to the case taken to Supreme Court by PDP that was dismissed on the grounds that PDP has no locus standi (legal right) to bring the action in the first place.
He submitted that the APM’S petition is predicted on internal affairs of the APC and that the Supreme Court’s latest judgment had taken life out of the petition.
He promised to make a copy of the judgment available within two days to the Court for perusal on the effects on the APM’S Petition.
Counsel to the APM, Mr Sheu Abubakar said he has not seen the judgment the respondents counsel was referring to and requested for adjournment in the hearing of the petition based on the submissions and revelations of Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN.
Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN who stood for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Abubakar Mahmoud SAN who appeared for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not object to the request for adjournment sought by the APM.
Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani granted the request for adjournment and shifted hearing till Friday, June 2.
Fuel Subsidy: Osun Govt threatens to seal stations hoarding petrol
The government of Osun state has warned filling stations against hoarding petroleum products in the state.In a statement signed by the state’s governor spokesman, Olawale Rasheed on Tuesday, the govt threatened to seal filling stations found guilty and prosecute the operators.The removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square on Monday, immediately after he was sworn in.“Any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity shall be sealed off and operators prosecuted for the crime of economic sabotage,” Adeleke said.It added that the removal of fuel subsidy by Tinubu has caused unnecessary hardship for the people of the state.“This deliberate action is not only inhumane but unpatriotic and will not be allowed by the government. To this end, the Special Monitoring Team on fuel scarcity set up by His Excellency, Governor Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke headed by the Chief of Staff, Hon Kazeem Akinleye is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage.“As from today, May 30, 2023, the Committee shall begin special monitoring of all the filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders,” it added.However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has supported the decision of Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy.The head of the company, Mele Kyari explained that the company had been spending a significant portion of its profits on the product subsidy.However, he assured Nigerians that there was no need for panic buying as the company had enough product to supply the country for the next 30 days.
Fuel Hike: Tinubu’s thoughtless announcement responsible – Sowore
Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the February 25 presidential election has lashed out at President Bola Tinubu. This followed Tinubu’s decision to end fuel subsidy. Reacting to the resurfacing of queues, Sowore said that Tinubu’s “thoughtless fuel subsidy removal announcement triggered fuel scarcity and price gouging all over the country.” Recall that marketers and operators have increased petrol pump prices to N210-N500 per litre, following the confirmation of fuel subsidies removal by Tinubu’s administration. In a post via his verified Twitter handle on Tuesday, Sowore claimed that the nation’s elites don’t care about Nigerians. He wrote, “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu @officialABAT thoughtless fuel subsidy removal announcement has already triggered fuel scarcity and price gouging all over Nigeria. This is why Nigerians must understand that nothing good will come out the Nigerian Elite-in and out- of power. They’re always after you. They don’t care about you! #Revolutionnow.”
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