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Presidential polls: Peter Obi storms tribunal’s inaugural sitting



Presidential polls: Peter Obi storms tribunal’s inaugural sitting

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, has fixed May 15 to conduct a pre-hearing session on the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

The date was fixed in the presence of the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter Obi, who was at the tribunal to witness the proceedings.

Other members of the panel are Justices Abdul Aboki, Samuel Oseji, Joseph Ikyeghn and Peter Olabisi Ige.

Before the tribunal are a total of four petitions filed challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress as winner of the February 23 poll.

Aside the petition marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, which was entered against Buhari by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate, Atiku, on March 18, the second petition marked CA/ PEPC/001/2019, was by the presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru who secured a total of 1,663 in the election. While the third petition, CA/PEPC/004/2019, was lodged by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Pastor Aminchi Habu, who is seeking a fresh election on the basis that his party’s logo was not included in the ballot paper.

The last petition with suit No. CA/PEPC/003/2019, was filed by the Coalition For Change, C4C and its presidential candidate, Geff Chizee Ojinka, who are contending that Buhari’s re-election was vitiated by substantial noncompliance with mandatory statutory provisions.

The petitioners maintained that the irregularity substantially affected the election, “such that the 1st Respondent was not entitled to be returned as the Winner of the Presidential election”.

Meanwhile, Justice Bulkachuwa sought the cooperation of all parties, even as she urged all the lawyers to conduct them- selves with decorum and high sense of responsibility so as to help the court to arrive at the justice of the case.

Justice Bulkachuwa maintained that all the parties would be accorded equal treatment by the tribunal which she said would sit on day-to-day basis. She, however, warned parties to desist from discussing the matter in the media, saying the case should be treated as a low profile matter that does not deserve analysis in public spaces.

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