Tribunal Reserves Judgment In HDP’s Case
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Monday, reserved judgment in the petition filed by the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, challenging the election victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election.
Naija News reports the tribunal’s decision comes after all parties in the petition adopted their final written addresses.
Lead counsel for the HDP, Chukwunoyerem Njoku while adopting the party’s final address, urged the tribunal to set aside the election of February 23 on the ground that INEC failed to follow due process before postponing the poll earlier scheduled for February 16.
Njoku, therefore, called on the tribunal to declare Presidential candidate of the HDP, Ambrose Oworu as the winner of the 2019 presidential election.
He based his argument on the fact that Oworu won a referendum which was conducted in line with the law. He said Nigerian citizens participated in the February 16 referendum as required by law and urged the tribunal to nullify the declaration of President Buhari by INEC as winner and in his place restore Owuru as the authentic winner of the election.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss HDP’s petition, saying it is frivolous, baseless and lacking in merit.
Olanipekun also told the tribunal that he had studied carefully the final address of the HDP and its presidential candidate and there was nowhere it made any case against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost to serve as a deterrent to those who may wish to file frivolous and baseless petitions in the 2023 elections.
The electoral body made the submission through its lead counsel, Yinus Usman, while adopting his final address.
Akin Olujimi, counsel to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in his own final address, demanded a dismissal of the petition for lacking in merit, saying the petition was wholly misconceived.