President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa is heading a five-man panel of Justices that have commenced hearing on petitions seeking to invalidate President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election. Mr Peter Obi and PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Other members of the panel are Justices Abdul Aboki, Samuel Oseji, Joseph Ikyeghn and Peter Olabisi Ige. The panel which is conducting its proceeding at the Court of Appeal Headquarters in Abuja, will determine merit of four separate petitions that are challenging the declaration of President Buhari as the legitimate winner of the February 23 presidential election.
In her inaugural speech, the Appeal Court President sought cooperation of all the parties, even as she urged all the lawyers to conduct themselves 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 basi
However, the tribunal Chairman 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. She said the court would be guided by the constitution and international best practices to ensure that justice is done.
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”. Atiku Vs Buhari: Legal fireworks as tribunal set to begin Remarkably, unlike in all the other petitions where only Buhari, the APC and INEC were cited as Respondents, the C4C, which garnered a total of 2,391 votes at the presidential poll, cited the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as the 2nd Respondent in its case. Imo Assembly to probe cause of Owerri Airport fire Meantime, the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr. Peter Obi was in court this morning to witness the proceeding. (Channels TV)
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