UPDATES: From the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja 8th May 2023
UPDATES from the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja hearing on the complaints filed by opposition political parties and their candidates challenging the president-elect, Bola Tinubu’s victory.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr Tinubu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the 25 February poll.
The petitioners include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party, with its candidate, Peter Obi.
The rest are the Action Alliance (AA), the Action Peoples Party (APP) and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
The petitioners allege INEC’s non-compliance with the Electoral Act as well as other fraudulent practices by Mr Tinubu and his agents during the election.
With Mr Tinubu’s victory mired in unprecedented litigation, the election petition court commences sitting today, Monday, to determine the disputes.
At today, Monday’s proceedings, the panel was inaugurated while the template for adjudicating on the various petitions was reeled out.
Inaugural sitting held between 9.14am and 10.30am.
10.30am: Panel went on a break.
10:45am: Court resumes sitting.
10:46am: Action Alliance’s petition called.
10:47am: AA’s national chairman, Adekunle Omo-Aje, announces appearance in court.
10:48am: Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, introduces self as Mr Tinubu’s representative.
10:48am: Court says Mr Lalong cannot represent Mr Tinubu, but APC.
10:50am: Oba Maduabuchi (SAN) announces appearance for the AA party.
10:56am: Confusion ensues as Malachi Umuebe also announces appearance for the AA party.
10:58am: Mr Maduabuchi insists Mr Umuebe does not represent the AA.
11:00am: Court discountenances Mr Umuebe’s appearance because he didn’t file any petition on behalf of the AA party.
11:01am: Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) announces appearance for INEC.
11:13am: Wole Olanipekun (SAN) announces appearance for Bola Tinubu, president-elect.
11:19am: AA’s lawyer, Mr Maduabuchi informs court of his application seeking to withdraw his client’s petition challenging Mr Tinubu’s victory.
11:23am: INEC lawyer, Mr Mahmoud says he has no objection to the withdrawal of the petition by AA.
11:24am: APC lawyer, Mr Fagbemi did not object to the withdrawal of the petitioner’s lawyer.
11: 25am: Mr Tinubu’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) also agrees with the withdrawal of the petition.
11:26am: Mr Al-Mustapha’s lawyer, Sani Mohammed, has no objection to the withdrawal of the petition.
11:33am: Court dismisses AA’s petition.
11:35am: Court calls another petition filed by Action Peoples Party (APP)
11:36am: Peter Abang announces appearance for Action Peoples Party (APP)
Mr Abang is the National legal adviser of APP.
11:38am: Obed Agu announces legal representation for APP.
11:41am: Wole Olanipekun (SAN) announces appearance for Mr Tinubu (respondent).
11:46am: Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) announces appearance for APC.
11:50am: Abubakar Mahmoud announces appearance for INEC.
12:05pm: Lateef Fagbemi, APC’s lawyer informs court of his preliminary objection to APP’s petition.
12:09pm: INEC lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, informs court of his client’s pending applications in response to APP’s petition
12:11pm: Court adjourns APP’s petition until Wednesday, 10 May for continuation of hearing of the petition.
12:19pm: Court calls Peter Obi’s petition challenging Mr Tinubu’s victory.
12:20pm: Mr Obi announces appearance.
12:21pm: Obiora Ifoh, Labour Party’s national publicity secretary, announces self as LP’s representative.
12:22pm: May Agbamuche-Mbu announces appearance on behalf of INEC.
12:23pm: Simon Lalong, Plateau State governor, announces appearance for APC
12:24pm: Labour Party’s lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), announces appearance.
12:31pm: INEC lawyer, Mr Mahmoud announces appearance.
12:35pm: Wole Olanipekun announces appearance as lawyer to Mr Tinubu and vice president-elect, Kashim Shettima.
12:40pm: APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, announces appearance.
12:45pm: Mr Obi’s lawyer, Livy Uzoukwu, informs the court that he filed answers to questions raised in his client’s petition.
12:49pm: INEC lawyer, Mr Mahmoud, informs court that the electoral commission has filed its responses to the pre-hearing questions.
12:50pm: Wole Olanipekun, Mr Tinubu’s lawyer, informs court that his client has filed his answers to the pre-hearing questions.
12:53pm: APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, says he has filed answers on behalf of his client to the pre-hearing questions of the court.
01:00pm: Court adjourns Peter Obi’s petition until Wednesday, 10 May.
Stay tuned as to enjoy a blow by blow account of what look like the most interesting legal fireworks which is about to set a judicial and constitutional precedence in the history of our nation democratic frameworks…..