Atiku wins Tinubu as court upholds petitions against President-elect
In a landmark ruling that echoes the voice of the Peoples Democratic Party‘s (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) has given the green light for the consolidation of three petitions challenging the legitimacy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential election victory.
Tinubu was declared victorious in the contentious presidential election held on February 25.
Justice Stephen Jonah Ada, in the pre-hearing session report presented on Tuesday, announced the court’s decision to unify the petitions filed by Abubakar, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and the Allied People’s Movement (APM). This decision is significant as it echoes the stance advocated by Abubakar’s legal team. They asserted that, in light of the time-sensitive nature of these petitions and the necessity for an expedient hearing, consolidating the petitions was a logical step, aligning with the stipulations of the Electoral Act 2022.
Justice Ada further explained that the court’s decision to consolidate stemmed from the shared context of the three petitions; they all pertained to the same election and the same declaration of results. Despite Tinubu’s vehement opposition to the consolidation, arguing that it would not serve the interests of justice, the court stood its ground.
The PDP and Atiku viewed Tinubu’s objection to the consolidation as a tactic to delay the prompt resolution of the three petitions. They fervently urged the court to proceed with the consolidation to address their respective grievances regarding Tinubu’s election in a comprehensive manner.
Moreover, the court has allotted a three-week period for Atiku and PDP to express their complaints against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). They will allege irregularities in the conduct of the presidential election. During this time, they also plan to present their objections concerning Tinubu’s eligibility for the election and his subsequent declaration as the winner of the 2023 presidential poll.
The Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, has scheduled May 30 as the date for a comprehensive hearing of the consolidated petitions. This date marks a crucial turning point in this unfolding political drama, as the court seeks to resolve the multiple challenges against Tinubu’s presidential election victory.