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Tanko-led Supreme Court stands down hearing of Atiku’s appeal against Buhari

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Hearing on the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in the February 23 presidential election had been stood down by the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed- led seven-man panel of the apex court decided to stand down proceedings on the appeal, which started on Wednesday morning, to allow Atiku’s counsel, Dr. Levy Uzokwu (SAN), to reach a decision on the hearing procedure.

Other members of the Supreme Court panel are Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Kayode Ariwoola, John Okoro, Amiru Sanusi, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba-Ajji.

Those at the courtroom, when the proceedings started, include the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, his PDP counterpart, Uche Secondus.

They are in the court with a handful of their party members and supporters.

The panel said the judgment in the main appeal (with appeal number 1211) should incorporate all the other appeals.

The implication of this is that at the end of the proceedings, there would be only one ruling that would cover all others.

Listed as defendants in the appeal are – Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Their counsels, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Ustaz Yinusa (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), accepted the decision of the apex court.

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But Atiku’s counsel, Uzokwu, urged the panel to allow them to adopt the process in the seven other appeals.

But the CJN told Uzokwu: “If you want time to make up your mind, we will give you time. We don’t want you to go and write a petition against us later that we are the one that pushed you to make a decision.”

When Uzokwu responded that he never wrote any petition before, the CJN said that “some 20 years ago while at the Court of Appeal, another counsel wrote a petition on this issue.”

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