The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja will commence the pre-hearing stage today for the petitions challenging the February 25 presidential election results. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner, with 8,794,726 votes.
Atiku, who placed second with 6,984,520 votes, and Obi, the second runner-up with 6,101,533 votes, representing different parties, both rejected the announced results. They have petitioned the tribunal, seeking to annul Tinubu’s victory.
Understanding the Pre-Hearing Process
A senior lawyer from Tinubu’s camp, who requested anonymity, explained the purpose and procedure of today’s pre-trial proceedings. He stated that the pre-hearing stage involves scheduling the hearing, determining the number of witnesses and their allotted time, and discussing the process for admitting documents.
The court will prepare a timetable for the hearing of the cases, specifying the number of days assigned to the petitioners and respondents. It will also establish procedures for admitting documents, such as certified true copies and addressing objections.
“Will the court write a ruling on objection immediately or will the court write it in the course of the main judgment? Those are the things that will happen tomorrow (Monday),” the lawyer added.
The Petitions: Atiku and Obi
Atiku’s 66-page petition requests the tribunal to declare him the election winner or order a new one. He is contesting the results based on various allegations, including irregularities in the voting process and discrepancies in the vote tally.
Similarly, Obi also seeks to annul Tinubu’s victory through his petition. He has raised concerns about the transparency and fairness of the electoral process, urging the tribunal to investigate the matter and deliver a just verdict.
As the pre-hearing process begins today, all eyes are on the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, with Nigerians eagerly awaiting the outcome of these petitions and their potential impact on the nation’s political landscape.