Posted on Wed 11 Sep 2019, 11:11 AM

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, struck out a preliminary objection by the Independent National Electoral Commission, seeking the striking out of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging the declaration of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress as winner of the February 23, presidential election.

ALSO READ: Photos of APC big wigs in court awaiting judgement.

INEC’s motion dated May 15, was filed by its counsel, Yunus Usman SAN.

Specifically, INEC contended that the non-joining of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a party in the petition rendered the case incompetent and therefore liable to be dismissed.

But in a lead judgment, Chairman of the 5-man panel, Justice Mohammed Garba held that the non-joinder of Osinbajo could not render the petition incompetent.

Justice Garba stated that the VP is only an interested party and not a necessary party because he was chosen by the 2nd respondent, President Buhari and the APC (3rd respondent) as a running mate.

In a unanimous ruling, the tribunal held that “the motion of the 1st respondent is not well-grounded in law, it lacks merit and is hereby refused”

A presidential delegation led by Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari is already seated in the courtroom.

Some of them are Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the federation, Abubakar Malami, National chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Ministers of Works and Housing, Raji Fashola, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of State, Niger Delta, Festus Kayamo among others.

Atiku and PDP are the petitioners while President Muhammadu Buhari, the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, are the respondents.

Consequent upon this ruling, judgment on the main issue will, therefore continue.

 

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