Buhari Knows Fate Today as Tribunal Rules.
Presidential election tribunal: Judgement day as Buhari, Atiku know fate (Live Updates) 10:46 AM 31292 views by Nurudeen Lawal The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal is set to give its final verdict on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Buhari the winner of the 2019 presidential election. According to the electoral body, Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku who polled 11,262,978 to lose the election with a margin of 3,928,869 votes.
However, Atiku and his party claimed they won the election, citing a presidential election result allegedly gotten from INEC’s server. Atiku claimed he scored 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari whom he claimed scored 16,741,430 votes.
Having heard the arguments of the PDP, Atiku, Buhari, APC and INEC, the presidential election petitions tribunal fixed Wednesday, September 11, to deliver a ruling on the winner of the 2019 presidential election by 9:30am.
Chairmen of APC, PDP, others arrive the tribunal The national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and his PDP counterpart, Uche Secondus have arrived the court premises.
Also present are President Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari and the minister of state for Niger Delta, Festus Keyamo.
Presidential election tribunal: Judgement day as Buhari, Atiku know fate (Live Updates) Source: UGC AGF, Abubakar Malami, is also present as well as the minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola. Governor Samuel Lalong of Plateau state is also present at the courtroom.
The proceedings being as a panel of five-member judges enters the courtroom A panel of five-member judges enter the courtroom. The president of the tribunal orders the court registrar to call the case of the day. The registrar proceeds to to call the matter between Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari, APC and INEC. Yayaha Abubakar stands to represent the petitioner, that is, Atiku, while May Agbanyoche, an INEC commissioner represents the commission introduces herself for INEC. Oshiomhole stands and introduces himself as the chairman of the APC.
He also tells the court that he is present to represent the APC. The PDP chairman also introduces himself. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) announces appearance for the APC’s legal team Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) announces appearance for Buhari’s legal team. He takes the place of Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who is absent at the proceedings.
9:51 AM Proceedings continue President of the appeal court Garba Mohammed says that final judgement for the application has been slated for today However, Mohammed says that before delivering the final judgement on the matter, ruling for the different applications will be delivered first.
10:03 AM Tribunal rules on first application challenging Osinbajo’s absence as a party to the matter The court rules on the first application challenging the absence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a party to the matter.
The court in its ruling said that hearing and judgement on the matter can continue especially with the fact that Osinbajo is a running mate and his principal who is president Muhammadu Buhari is represented in the matter.
Mohammed reeling out the matter said it could have been different if the principal defendant in the matter, Buhari, had nominated another running mate to replace Osinbajo as his vice president.
Citing section 178 of the Electoral Act, Mohammed said a running mate is not necessarily a party to the matter where his principal is fully represented as the running mate is bound by whatever decision taken by the court on the matter.
Mohammed further ruled that the application is not well grounded and hereby dismissed for lack of merit. The judge moves to begin ruling on the second motion filed by the first respondent
10:28 AM The second ruling is on another motion filed by INEC The second ruling is on another motion filed by INEC on April 25.
The application by INEC seeks among others, the striking out of: 1. The petitioners’ list of documents relied on by the petition, 2. Petitioners’ list of witnesses, 3. Some paragraphs of the petition.
Presidential election tribunal: Judgement day as Buhari, Atiku know fate (Live Updates) Source: UGC The grounds of the INEC’s motion is that the petitioners’ lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), who signed the petitioners’ list of witnesses and other documents was not on the roll of lawyers kept by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court and as such cannot practise law in Nigeria.
The tribunal says if the allegation is found to be true all the documents of the petitioners will be struck out. However, Uzoukwu debunks INEC’s allegation, says he was called to the Nigerian bar in 1982. He adds that he was called into inner bar (conferred with SAN rank) along with INEC’s lead counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN) in 1982. Uzoukwu says he was also Attorney-General of Imo state from 1994 to 1996. Justice Garba noted that INEC appears to have made a detour by not further responding to Uzoukwu’s claims.
He, therefore, rules that that documents signed by Uzoukwu as a lawyer whose name appears on the rolls of the Supreme Court were validly and competently filed. The court concludes that the allegation is unfounded and hereby struck out.
to be continued