The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal is currently sitting in Abuja, to decide the fate of PDP/Atiku and APC/Buhari over the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
We recall that INEC had declared Buhari and the APC as winner of the election, having polled a total of 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, who it said polled a total of 11,262,978 votes.
The five-man panel of justices of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, is headed by Justice Mohammed Garba, as Chairman.
Here are summary of the rulings so far, and key points to note…
Key rulings to note
– Tribunal unanimously dismissed INEC’s motion asking Vice President Osinbajo to be joined in the petition. It ruled that a vice presidential candidate is not a necessary party in an election petition but an appendage of the presidential candidate who nominated him.
– Tribunal dismissed INEC’s motion arguing that Atiku’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, is not a legal practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar.
– Tribunal refused INEC’s request to dismiss Atiku’s prayer seeking Buhari’s disqualification on the ground that he was not qualified to contest the election.
– Ruling on the allegations of police and military interference, harassment and intimidation and ballot stuffing among others, filed by Atiku, the tribunal strike out the application for non-joinder of the parties who have been accused.
– Tribunal dismissed Buhari’s application that Atiku was not qualified to file the petition challenging his election, ruling that Atiku is qualified to filed the petition.
– Tribunal dismissed Atiku’s application accusing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo of inducing voters with the TraderMoni scheme, ruling that it does not have jurisdiction over the matter.
– Tribunal strike out APC’s argument that Atiku was not qualified to contest the presidential election because he is allegedly not a Nigerian by birth.
* It ruled that its power does not include determining the qualification of a petitioner in an election dispute, but to determine whether a person elected to the office of the president was validly elected and not to query the qualification of the petitioners to have contested the election, whose outcome was being queried.
Summary of the rulings so far
INEC filed three motions against Atiku’s petition; one of the motions was dismissed while two partially succeeded leading to the striking out of some paragraphs in the petitioners’ petition and their response to INEC’s reply to the petition.
– President Buhari filed two motions against Atiku’s petition; two of the motions partially succeeded leading to the striking out of some paragraphs in the petitioner’s response to the president’s reply to the petition.
– The last two motions were filed by APC.