The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has struck out some paragraphs contained in the petition filed by the PDP and Atiku wherein serious allegations of corruption, bribery, and aligned acts of criminality were made against security officers, individuals and persons who were not joined as parties to the petition.
The Tribunal held that it lacked the powers to proceed with the petition without hearing from such persons and individuals. Justice Mohammed Garba held that doing so will breach their rights to fair hearing as provided for under section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal refused to strike out the petition by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on account of the non joinder of the Vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, as a party to the petition.
The Tribunal in a unanimous judgment delivered by Chairman of the panel, Justice Mohammed Garba, held that the application by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacked merit and was accordingly dismissed.
It was the position of the Tribunal that the petition can be held in the absence of the Vice President who was nominated as a running mate to President Buhari.
It further cited some case laws to hold that a running mate such as a Deputy Governor and Vice President is not a necessary party in an election petition.
The application was filed by the INEC.
The Justice Mohammed Garba led five-member panel of the presidential election tribunal have arrived to deliver judgment in the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the outcome of the February 23 presidential election that returned President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.
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The following dignitaries are seated in court for the judgment:
Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Labour Minister, Emeka Ngige; Minister of state for Niger Delta Ministry, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Governor Simon Lanlong of Plateau state; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN); Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN); National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomole; National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus.