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Supreme Court strikes out HDP’s application against Buhari

The Supreme Court has struck out an application filed by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) seeking to restore its appeal challenging the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Other respondents in the appeal aside President Buhari are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The apex court had earlier dismissed the party and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru’s appeal on the grounds that more than one notice of appeal was filed in the same appeal contrary to the provisions of law.

Justice Mary Odili, who delivered the verdict on October 3, also held that Owuru and HDP failed to appeal against the ruling delivered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) on August 22 which struck out their petition based on lack of jurisdiction.

Not satisfied with the apex court’s decision, Owuru and his party filed an application before the court on October 17 seeking for the court to reverse itself in the judgment delivered on October 3 and restore their appeal.

When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, counsel for HDP, Sunday Ezema applied for the application to be withdrawn.

He moved for the withdrawal of the application after his attention was drawn to the provision of Section 285(7) of the Constitution, which provided that the court has 60 days from the judgement day to hear and determine the appeal.

He acknowledged that the time allowed for the appeal had elapsed and the apex court said it was not competent to grant an extension of time when he suggested it.

Counsels for President Buhari, Wole Olanipekun (SAN); INEC, Yunus Usman Ustaz (SAN) and the APC, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), did not object to the withdrawal of the application but Maikyau asked the court to award cost.

In striking out the application, the five-man panel of the court led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, said there would be no order as to cost.

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