• Friday, September 29, 2023
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Tribunal resumes hearing on Obi’s petition today, Atiku’s Thursday

The practice of ‘courtocracy’: We ain’t seen nothing yet!

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal Abuja will resume hearing on the petition filed by Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate, on Wednesday (today).

The hearing was moved to Tuesday after it was called on Monday.

The tribunal moved the hearing of the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the presidential election, to Thursday.

It also moved the petition filed by the Allied People’s Movement to the same day.

Justice Haruna Tsammani, the presiding judge, said the adjournment will enable the parties and respondents to identify the major issues for the panel to consider in a timely manner, and avoid duplications.

The judge said the tribunal will also consider the new motion filed by President-elect Bola Tinubu’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun, which is seeking dismissal of the petitions by APM and Atiku for lack of merit.

It will also rule on Atiku’s motion seeking for live coverage of the proceedings of the tribunal on Thursday.

Tsammani also asked the parties to also consider responses they will be objecting to and those they will not be objecting to, as well as issues to be determined for the tribunal’s consideration.

He also directed that the responses should be filed during the hearing session.

The tribunal had commenced hearing on Monday around 9:15 am and heard a total of three petitions from the Action Alliance, the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, as well as the petition from the Action Peoples Party.

It, however, adjourned the hearing of the petitions from LP, Obi and APP to enable the parties to raise and agree on issues for determination.

Presided by Justice Haruna Tsammani, the tribunal has five-man panel of justices including Justice Stephen Adah of the Court of Appeal Asaba division; Justice Misitura Bolaji-Yusuf, Court of Appeal, Asaba division; Justice Boloukuoromo Ugoh of Kano division and Justice Abba Mohammed of Ibadan Court of Appeal.

Tsammani, in his opening statement on Monday, said the panel will deliver justice, and in a timely manner. He sought the cooperation of lawyers and senior advocates of Nigeria.

Read also: 2023 Election Tribunal: “Judges must understand that it is Judiciary that is on trial”

Atiku and the PDP had in their application dated May 5 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 petitioners, in their applications filed by their lawyers led by Chris Uche, a SAN, averred that their applications are predicated on the fact that the matter under dispute is of “national concern”.

“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 said.