The Presidential Election Petition Court has adjourned to Thursday, May 11, 2023, the continuation of the pre-hearing of the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, against the president-elect, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress.
In the petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, the PDP and Atiku are challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the President-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Listed as 1st to 3rd respondents in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Tinubu, and the APC, respectively.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, counsel for the petitioners, Chris Uche SAN, pointed out that they have filed and served a motion dated 7th May requesting a live broadcast of the presidential tribunal proceeding.
He noted that the application was a motion of priority which requires immediate attention given the national importance of the issue at hand.
“We urge your Lordship to set it down for hearing and adoption as soon as the court’s business may allow.”
Responding, counsel for INEC, A.B Mahmoud acknowledged the application which he described as “innocuous” and requested time to respond “being served yesterday.”
On his part, counsel for the 2nd respondent, Lateef Fagbemi said they received the application and “we are taking steps to respond appropriately to the application.”
Responding further, Uche SAN argued that he was just hearing that the 2nd and 3rd respondents have filed on the matter adding that in the spirit of cooperation, they are prepared to accept service in the open court.
“We pray that the parties don’t insist on the maximum length of time if we are to make progress.”
However, Fagbemi reacted to his claim and objected to it. According to him, “The motion was filed by 9:30am and not in the open court. If he said counsels should cooperate, we will follow the time and we will not flout the rules.”
Consequently, Justice Tsammani asked parties to settle all issues for objections and determination responding that the application for a live broadcast of the proceeding “will be considered together with the other issues.”
He thereafter adjourned the pre-hearing of the petition against Tinubu to Thursday, May 11, 2023, by 2pm.
In the 66-page petition, Atiku and his party argued that as of March 1 when Tinubu was declared the winner of the election, the entire results and accreditation data from polling units had not been transmitted and uploaded by INEC.
They stated that, ‘’despite the failure to so transmit and several complaints for review, the 1st Respondent’s chairman refused all entreaties and applications for the suspension of the collation exercise and a review of the complaints before declaring a winner of the election and repeatedly off-handedly dared the petitioners to go to court.”