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Tribunal fixes May 22 to hear application seeking to stop Buhari’s inauguration

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Tribunal fixes May 22 to hear application seeking to stop Buhari’s inauguration

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, has fixed May 22 to hear an application seeking an order to restrain Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) or any other Justice from swearing-in Muhammadu Buhari as president on May 29.


Chief Ambrose Owuru, Candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and his party, who are before the tribunal challenging their alleged exclusion from the Feb.23 presidential election brought the application for consideration on Tuesday.

Justice Zainab Bulkachua, President of the Appeal Court, leading four other justices adjourned hearing on the application on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Buhari, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressive Congress (APC) were the respondents in the matter.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.

“The sitting on the petition filed by the Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru and the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) is hereby adjourned until May 22’’, Bulkachua held.

The applicants had brought the application pursuant to Sections 1 (2), 6 (6) 139, and 239 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The applicants had also relied on Sections 26 (4) (5) and 138 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

They are praying for an order restraining the first respondent (Buhari) from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

Owuru and the HDP are also seeking an order restraining the CJN or any other justice in that stead from swearing-in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on May 29 or any other date on Buhari.

They are praying the tribunal to activate those orders pending the determination of their petition contesting the alleged invalidity of the substituted and questioned presidential election of Feb.23.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as winner of the election.

They had raised the other ground to hinge in the fact that pleadings had been concluded among parties and petition fixed for pre-trial hearing session following services of hearing notice to all parties which commenced May 8.

The other ground of the application, according to the applicants, stems from the frantic ongoing preparation for the inauguration of the first respondent in spite of the pending petition.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with’’, they claimed.

However, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Counsel for the president, informed the panel of his application seeking an order to dismiss the entire processes filed by the appellants, adding that their actions were laughable and incompetent.

 

Martins Odeh: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Judiciary

Kogi West: Tribunal upholds Senator Smart Adeyemi’s election victory 

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The Kogi National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, upheld the election of Senator Smart Adeyemi as the Senator representing  Kogi West Senatorial District.


The tribunal, in its judgement, threw out the petition of Senator Dino Melaye, formerly representing the senatorial district, for lacking in meeting.

According to Justice Isa Sambo-led tribunal, the petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the rerun, which held in 53 polling units on Nov. 30, 2019, was ordered in the judgment of the Court of Appeal which nullified Melaye’s victory in the main election which earlier held in March 2019.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who garnered 88,373 votes, as the winner of the poll.

INEC declared that he defeated Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 62,133.

But Melaye had in his petition urged the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election or order a fresh election.

He claimed that the Nov. 16 senatorial return election was marred by violence, over-voting, manipulation of figures and other irregularities and called for total cancellation of the affected areas.

Melaye, with his party as co-petitioner, had joined INEC, the APC and Adeyemi as the respondents to the petition.

 

But in its judgment on Wednesday, the tribunal, in a unanimous decision, held that both Melaye and his party failed to prove their claims in the petition.

According to the panel, the evidence of witnesses called by the petitioners were contradictory and as such unreliable.

The panel further held that claims of over voting and other alleged electoral malpractices were not substantiated both from documents presented and testimonies of witnesses.

The panel accordingly dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Judiciary

Kogi West poll: Tribunal dismisses Dino Melaye’s petition against Adeyemi

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The Kogi State National Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, dismissed the petition filed by Senator Dino Melaye challenging the election of Senator Smart Adeyemi as the senator representing  Kogi-West Senatorial District.


The tribunal, in its judgement, threw out the suit for lacking in meeting.

According to Justice Isa Sambo-led tribunal, the petitioner failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

Details later…

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Judiciary

Enugu LG election: Tribunal strikes out PDP’s objection, adjourns for pre-trial

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The Local Government Council Election Tribunal in Enugu State, has dismissed an application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking to terminate the petition of the African Peoples Alliance (APA), candidate in Enugu South.
It
would be recalled that the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) had on Feb. 29 conducted the local government election in the state.
The Chairmanship candidate of the APA in Enugu South Local Government Area, Mr Chukwunonso Ogbe, had approached the tribunal alleging massive irregularities that marred the process in the area.
Joined in the petition, EP/013/2020, as first and second respondents are the winner of the election, Mr Monday Eneh, and the PDP respectively and others.
However, in a preliminary objection, the first and second respondents through their counsel, Mr Tochukwu Maduka, raised a preliminary objection to strike out the petition.
Maduka had told the tribunal that the petitioners failed to file their pre-trial forms within the time provided by the rules of court and or practice direction of the tribunal.
However, the tribunal in its ruling dismissed the application for lacking in merit.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Mr Joseph Onah, who read the ruling, said that the petitioner filed his pre-trial forms within a period of five days after the order of the tribunal was made.
The tribunal chairman further adjourned the matter until June 16, for pre-trial.



Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Judiciary

Tribunal upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

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The Kogi  Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition of Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Wada was challenging the election of Bello in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi.

Wada, in his petition, alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.

Delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay.

The tribunal further awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.

However, a member of the tribunal, Justice  Ohimai Ovbiagele, disagreed with the judgement.

In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.

“I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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