The petition the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), filed to challenge the result of the 2023 presidential election that produced Bola Tinubu as president has again been adjourned till next week Friday, June 9, 2023.
The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), again adjourned proceedings today following the inability of the petitioner and counsel to the respondents to obtain a copy of the Supreme Court judgment, which dismissed an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on the alleged double nomination of the vice president, Kashim Shettima, which is a main ground in the APM’s petition.
Naija News reports that this is the second time in a row that the tribunal has adjourned the hearing on the APM’S petition.
It was gathered that at the last adjourned date, Justice Haruna Tsammani-led five-member panel adjourned APM’s petition to Friday after its attention was drawn to the said judgment of the apex court.
Tinubu’s lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had during the proceedings, informed the court that the Supreme Court had dismissed an appeal the PDP filed to challenge Tinubu’s eligibility to contest the February 25 presidential election.
Olanipekun insisted that the only ground the APM held in its petition was the fact that the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, had double nominations, prior to the presidential election.
Olanipekun submitted: “As officers of this court, it behoves us to assist the court in all circumstances and also bring to the attention of yours lordships, decisions of courts, even from other jurisdictions, which relate to any matter pending before yours lordships.
“Even if those decisions do not necessarily align with the interest of out clients. If becomes more imperative if we are aware or abreast of any decision of the Supreme Court which touches on matters within the proceedings before your lordships.
“In this wise my lords, this particular petition which has just been called in respect of which the sole issue that is being ventilated is the nomination of the 1st Respondent who we represent.
“We are aware that the Supreme Court gave a judgement on the issue on Friday, May 23, in respect of appeal No: SC/CV/501/2023, and the parties involved were PDP Vs INEC& 3 Ors, where the apex court considered all the issues and resolved them.
”We promise that within next two days, certified true copies of the judgement will be made available.
“We will also confirm from the petitioners, whether in the light of the Supreme Court decision, there will still be the need to continue with this petition.”
In his response, counsel for the APM, Mr S.A.T. Abubakar, sought an adjournment to enable him to obtain and study the said Supreme Court judgement.
He said: “My lords, based on the submissions of the learned silk, we shall be praying this court, on behalf of the petitioner, to adjourn the hearing of this petition to enable us to apply to the Supreme Court for a copy of the judgement referred to.
“This is to enable us to examine it to know the effect it has on our petition.
”However my lords, we shall be praying for the petition to be adjourned till Friday.”
Both counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mr Abubakar Mahmood, (SAN), and that of the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN), said they were not opposed to the request for an adjournment.
“My lords, we agree with the petitioners that they need time. I have no objection to their application for an adjournment,” Fagbemi added.
The 4th Respondent, Mr. Ibrahim Masari, through his counsel, Mr Roland Otaru, SAN, did not oppose the application.
Consequently, the Justice Tsammani-led panel adjourned further proceedings on the petition till Friday, June 2nd.
During the resumed hearing on Friday, counsel for the 3rd and 4th respondents, Lateef Fagbemi, informed the court that they have yet to lay hands on the said judgement.
Counsel for the APM similarly told the court that the copy of the Supreme Court’s judgement is not yet available to enable them to “take a stance on the status of the petition.”
“May we respectfully request an adjournment to enable us to take a position on the status of the petition.”
The five-man panel of the court granted their request following the agreement of all the respondents.
Recall that the Supreme Court had last Friday dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election over the alleged double nomination of his Vice President, Kashim Shettima.