Atiku, Obi, others to serve Tinubu petition through APC

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, should serve the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, with copies of petitions seeking to nullify his election through substituted means.

The court ordered that the petitions should be served on Tinubu through his political party, the All Progressives Congress.

The ruling by a three-man panel of the court, led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh, followed separate motions ex parte filed by Abubakar and Obi before the court.

The PDP and LP candidates had accused Tinubu of deliberately avoiding being served their petitions. The petitioners told the court that several attempts by them to serve the petitions on the APC candidate proved abortive.

The leader of Atiku and Obi’s legal teams, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN) respectively moved the applications on Friday.

The lawyers relied on Section 6(6a) and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act and Paragraph 8 of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022, to seek the court’s intervention.

The aggrieved presidential candidates supported their ex parte motions, dated March 23, 2023, with an affidavit of urgency and non-service.

Tinubu’s opponents persuaded the court to hear the applications outside the pre-hearing session of their substantive petitions.

Delivering the ruling of the panel on the applications, Justice Ikyegh said, “Having heard the applications by counsel to the petitioners including the affidavit in support, the applications are hereby granted.”

Similarly, the court granted leave to another party, Allied Peoples Movement, to also serve its petition on Tinubu via substituted means.

Four presidential candidates had on Tuesday approached the tribunal with separate petitions, seeking the nullification of the declaration of Tinubu of the APC by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the February 25 presidential poll.

The petitioners seeking nullification of Tinubu’s emergence as president-elect are Atiku, Obi, Solomon Okangbuan of the Action Alliance and Chichi Ojei of the Allied People’s Movement.

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