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Stats: 17,995 Members, 73,321 Topics, 15,960 Comments. Date: Sep 23 2019, 3:32 am

Atiku Vs Buhari: Apc, Pdp Rally For Relevance As Presidential Election Tribunal Hearing Continues Today

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Atiku Vs Buhari: Apc, Pdp Rally For Relevance As Presidential Election Tribunal Hearing Continues Today

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Donatus Mercy
, Nigeria.
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The Presidential Election Tribunal for the February 23 Presidential election, will continue its sitting today with the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party rallying for relevance.

Naija News recalls that the Presidential Election Tribunal commenced its inaugural sitting holding in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, May 8 at exactly 10:05 am.

What We Know
A five-member panel headed by Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the President of the Court of Appeal, was set up for the tribunal with Justices Abdul Aboki (Abuja Division of the Appeal Court), Joseph Ikyegh (Benin Division of the Appeal Court), Samuel Oseji (Lagos Division of the Appeal Court) and Justice Peter Ige (Abuja Division of the Appeal Court) as members.

Why The Tribunal?
The tribunal is sitting following petitions filed by the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, his party and three other political parties challenging the declaration of President Buhari of the APC as the winner of the 2019 presidential poll.

Naija News recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared President Buhari who participated in the election on the platform of the APC, winner of the February 23 Presidential election.

The commission had said figures from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) gave Buhari 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

Challenging the results at the election tribunal in his 139-page petition, Abubakar said the results from INEC server showed he polled 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari who had 16,741,430 votes.

Tribunal Judge Makes Demands
The tribunal judge has pleaded for the support of stakeholders including litigants, lawyers, the press and members of the public to ensure the smooth running of the proceedings of the tribunal even as she warned against the public analysis of proceedings of the presidential election petition.

“Any breach will not be condoned and we will not hesitate in taking necessary action against such offenders,” Bulkachuwa warned.

Justice Bulkachuwa assured the people that the Court of Appeal which sits as the PEPT would work in accordance and within the dictates of the constitution, the law and international best practices to ensure justice was done to all.

“The independence of the judiciary is key to any vibrant democracy, especially in the resolution of election petitions.

“Therefore, an independent judiciary is a robust and an indispensable requisite of a free society under the rule of law.

“As we gather in this honourable courtroom today, I wish to use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, that the Court of Appeal will work in accordance and within the dictates of the constitution, the law and international best practices, to dispense justice to all, without fear or favour, affection or ill will,” she had said.

Atiku, PDP Reject Tribunal Judge
On seeing Justice Bulkachuwa as the chairman of the five-man panel of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, Abubakar and his party raised the alarm over her “connection” with the ruling APC.

The main opposition party and its Presidential candidate subsequently called on the tribunal judge to withdraw as the chairman of the five-man panel.

At the resumption of the Election Petition Tribunal sitting May 15, the tribunal asked the PDP and its candidate to formally file an application asking Justice Bulkachuwa to withdraw, which the party did on May 16.

Buhari Makes Promise
President Buhari says he will relinquish power if the Election Tribunal declares Abubakar of the PDP, as the winner of the 2019 Presidential election.

Naija News reports that the President spoke in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Monday, May 13, 2019, where he also warned Nigerian comedians to stop making jokes with him.

PDP, Atiku Hopeful Of Victory
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, May 20, expressed optimism that its 2019 presidential candidate, will emerge victorious at the presidential election tribunal.

Naija News understands that the party through its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, called on the panel to ensure its proceedings are free and fair.

“Nigerians compared their living standards while the PDP was in power to the four years of the ruling APC and concluded that it was time to take back their country. That is why we reminded fellow citizens that the election was a referendum on hunger, poverty, economy, anti-corruption and what have you.

“We have strong evidence that our candidate won the election and that is why they are not comfortable today.

“They will raise one allegation or the other against our party and when you confront them to prove same; they will keep mum and then raise yet another. Nigerians have seen through their lies and are no longer moved by such things,” the PDP said.

APC, PDP Supporters May Clash Today?
The Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has put measures in place to avert a possible clash between supporters of the ruling APC and opposition PDP.

Naija News understands that part of these measures was the planning of traffic diversion from routes leading to the venue of the Presidential Election Tribunal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday (today), May 22.

What To Expect Today
The tribunal judge had on May 15, adjourned the case till Wednesday, May 22 (today) for hearing of the petitioners’ application in regards to PDP’s request seeking her disqualification.

Giving a reason for her decision, Justice Bulkachuwa had said since the matter was already in the public domain, the panel had decided to have the issue treated openly.

On the other hand, INEC and APC demanded more time to respond to the application.

APC, PDP Representatives At The Tribunal
Naija News understands that Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Yunus Usman (SAN) and Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) are representing President Buhari and APC at the tribunal while Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), leads the PDP and Abubakar’s legal team.

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