Legal fire works will commence, today, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, where four petitioners, including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seek to invalidate President Muhammadu Buhari’s election.
The tribunal has already issued hearing notices to all parties with respect to the pre- hearing session.
The petitioners, in separate petitions lodged at the tribunal, are challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Buhari as the legitimate winner of the February 23 presidential election.
Aside the PDP and its candidate’s petition, marked CA/PEPC/002/2019, which was filed on March 18, other petitioners include the presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party, (HDP), Chief Ambrose Owuru, who got 1,663 in the election, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Pastor Aminchi Habu and the petition with suit No. CA/PEPC/003/2019, filed by the Coalition For Change, and its presidential candidate, Geff Chizee Ojinka.
While the HDP, in its CA/PEPC/001/2019 petition is seeking a fresh election, on the basis that his party’s logo was not included in the ballot paper, the PDM, on its part, is contending that Buhari’s re-election was riddled with substantial non-compliance with mandatory statutory provisions.
It was the position of the petitioners in their various petitions that the irregularity substantially affected the election, “such that the first respondent was not entitled to be returned as the winner of the presidential election”.
On February 27, INEC declared Buhari winner with 15,191,847 votes but, almost immediately, Atiku rejected the results and vowed to upturn it in court.
Specifically, in their joint petition, Atiku and his party, insisted the data they secured from INEC’s server revealed that they clearly defeated Buhari with over 1.6 million votes.