• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Court can sack Tinubu as President after inauguration – Atiku, Obi

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Part and Atiku Abubakar,  presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said the court can still overturn the outcome of the 2023 presidential election after the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s president May 29.

Obi and Atiku who spoke through their legal representatives after the hearing session at the Presidential Election Petitions Court described the forthcoming inauguration of Tinubu as a mere ceremony, which cannot bind the court.

Chris Uche, lead counsel of Atiku, while fielding questions from journalists assured Nigerians and its supporters not to worry over the inauguration set to hold in a matter of days, as the court can still sack Tinubu even after swearing-in.

“People are asking about May 29. We want to assure people that swearing-in is a ceremony that does not tie the hands of the court,” he said.

Also, livy Uzoukwu,  counsel to Obi, said, if the court rules in favour of its petition, the president will leave the sit, adding that a similar situation has played out in smaller African countries.

Read also:Explainer: Implication of tribunal’s consolidation of Atiku, Obi, APM petitions against Tinubu

Tinubu, APC’s legal team bars own lawyers from talking to press, as court may stop use of phones

Adeniyi Akintola APC counsel said the team of the  second, third and fourth respondents have agreed not to speak to the press on the court’s proceedings, adding that the penalty was immediate expulsion for any defaulters.

Akintola was responding to an advice by Justice Tsammani on  the conduct of lawyers,  noting that some of them are causing commotion and embarrassing the court with their conduct, particularly as regards their interactions with the public and the media.

“My lord, if you observe none of our lawyers do that, anything said here remains here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Justice Tsammani warned that it may subsequently disallow phones into the courtroom. The court said that it is acting with reason, explaining that the security of everyone is important, among other justifications.

Court merges three petitions against Tinubu

Court has merged the surviving petitions challenging the outcome of the 2023 Presidential elections .

The court will treat the petition filed by the Labour Party,  and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi; the Allied Peoples Movement,  and the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate,  Atiku Abubakar,  as one to aid the speedy dispensation of justice.

The five man panel chaired by Justice Haruna Tsammani gave this  while presenting separate reports on the pre-hearing of the three petitions. He said all the petitions are against the same election, hence the consolidation.

The All Progressives Congress and its presidential candidate,  Bola Tinubu,  had opposed the consolidation during pre hearing sessions.  Atiku and the APM argued for it while the INEC and the LP were indifferent.

Regarding the consolidated petition, the Tribunal held that in order to save time, there shall be no need for oral examination of witnesses but that those witnesses will just adopt their written statement except for experts who would be required to speak on evidence.

The legal team of Obi and Atiku expressed satisfaction with the consolidation of all petitions (of PDP, Labour party and Allied Peoples Movement) and the three weeks the court gave them to prove their case.

He said the decision of the court is targeted at fast tracking the case.

“We are very happy that pre-hearing session has been speedily concluded and we are going into proper hearing,” he said.

Read also:

Court gives Atiku, Obi three weeks to prove case against Tinubu

The court presented the pre-hearing repot on each petitions and the schedule for the hearing session

The court reduced the seven weeks requested by the LP and Obi to produce 50 witnesses to three weeks beginning from May 30, 2023, when the hearing session will begin.

For Atiku Abubakar, the Tribunal ordered his lawyers to produce his 100 witnesses within 3 weeks, starting from May 30 – Jun 20. Below is the schedule for the hearing.

Schedule to guide the proceedings as read by justice Tsammani for CA/PEPC/03/2023 (Obi’s petition).

Dates for the petitioner and respondents to provide their case: 30th May – 23rd June is for the petitioner (Peter Obi)

24th June -29th June is 1st respondents (INEC)
30th June -6th July is for the 2nd/3rd respondents (Tinubu/Shetima )
6th July- 10th July is for the 4th respondent (APC)
10th July- windows close for evidence submission

Respondent’s address will be held in 21st July while the petitioner’s address will be held July 29th . 1st respondent’s reply will be on August 1 while adoption of address will be August 5.

Schedule to guide the proceedings for CA/PEPC/04/2023 (APM)  as read by Justice Misturat Bolaji-Yusuf are;

Dates for the petitioner and respondents to provide their case: May30, is for the petitioner, 31st May is for the 1st respondent (INEC),  1st June is for the 2nd respondent (APC), 2nd-5th June is for the 3rd and 4th respondents ( Tinubu and Shettima),6th June is for the 5th respondent (Masari)and windows close for evidence submission

Respondent’s address will be held in 17th June while the petitioner’s address will be held 26th June.
Respondent’s reply will be on July 1 while adoption of address will be July 5.

Schedule to guide the proceedings for CA/PEPC/05/2023  are;
Dates for the petitioner and respondents to provide their case
30th May – 20th June is for the petitioner (Atiku Abubakar/ PDP)
21st June – 28th June  is for the 1st respondent (INEC)
29th June – 6th July is for the 2nd respondent (Tinubu)
7th July- 16th July is for the 3rd respondent ( APC)
16th July- windows close for evidence submission
Respondent’s address will be held in 26th July while the petitioner’s address will be held 2nd August , while respondent’s reply will be on 7th August while adoption of address will be 8th August.