The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), on Tuesday, adjourned further proceedings on the petition filed by the Allied Peoples Movement, (APM) challenging the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 presidential election to Friday, the 2nd of June, 2023.
It would be recalled that the PEPC led by Justice Haruna Tsammani had consolidated the petition filed by APM with those filled by the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),
However, the court, at the resumed sitting on Tuesday, adjourned APM’s case after its attention was drawn to a recent judgement of the Supreme Court.
The President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whose election is being challenged by the APM, had immediately the petition was called up for hearing, notified the court that the apex court had in the said judgement, dismissed an appeal the PDP filed to challenge his eligibility to contest the presidential election that held on February 25.
According to Tinubu’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), PDP’s appeal, which bordered on the legality or otherwise of his client’s nomination to contest the election by the All Progressives Congress (APC), touched on the substance of APM’s petition.
Olanipekun also argued that the only ground the APM canvassed in its petition, was the fact that the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, had double nominations, prior to the presidential election.
Insisting that the issue had been settled by the Supreme Court, Tinubu’s lead counsel, said: “As officers of this court, it behoves us to assist the court in all circumstances and also bring to the attention of yours lordships, decisions of courts, even from other jurisdictions, which relate to any matter pending before yours lordships.
“Even if those decisions do not necessarily align with the interest of our clients. If becomes more imperative if we are aware or abreast of any decision of the Supreme Court which touches on matters within the proceedings before your lordships.
“In this wise my lords, this particular petition which has just been called in respect of which the sole issue that is being ventilated is the nomination of the 1st Respondent who we represent.
“We are aware that the Supreme Court gave a judgement on the issue on Friday, May 23, in respect of appeal No: SC/CV/501/2023, and the parties involved were PDP Vs INEC& 3 Ors, where the apex court considered all the issues and resolved them.
“We promise that within next two days, certified true copies of the judgement will be made available.
“We will also confirm from the petitioners, whether in the light of the Supreme Court decision, there will still be the need to continue with this petition,” he added.
In his response, the counsel for the APM, Mr. S.A.T. Abubakar, asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to obtain and study the said Supreme Court judgement.
He said: “My lords, based on the submissions of the learned silk, we shall be praying this court, on behalf of the petitioner, to adjourn the hearing of this petition to enable us to apply to the Supreme Court for a copy of the judgement referred to.
“This is to enable us to examine it to know the effect it has on our petition.
“However my lords, we shall be praying for the petition to be adjourned till Friday,” Abubakar added.
The counsels for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr. Abubakar Mahmood (SAN), and that of the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said they were not opposed to the request for an adjournment.
“My lords, we agree with the petitioners that they need time. I have no objection to their application for an adjournment,” Fagbemi, SAN added.
The 4th Respondent, Mr. Ibrahim Masari, through his counsel, Mr. Roland Otaru, SAN, did not oppose the application.
The court, consequently,adjourned further proceedings on the petition till Friday.
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