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Tribunal to hear PDP, Atiku’s application to quash June 11 proceedings

Atiku Abubakar

The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has adjourned to July 1 the application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar seeking to set aside the proceedings of June 11.

Chairman of the tribunal Justice Mohammed Garba adjourned the application after listening to parties in the matter.

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Atiku and the PDP are challenging the proceeding, of June 11 wherein the All Progressives Congress (APC) asked the tribunal to strike out some paragraphs in their petition.

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Atiku and PDP filed an objection to the application; but the APC withdrew their application on June 11 and filed a fresh one same day, which the PDP could not immediately reply to. Thus, the party wanted the tribunal to quash the entire proceedings of the day.

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At the resumed hearing, yesterday, counsel to Atiku and PDP, Chris Uche (SAN), requested for time to reply on “points of law” to the counter affidavits from both President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC on the application seeking to set aside the proceedings of June 11.

He also asked the court to give directives on the number of applications, witnesses and schedule of time for arguments for the substantive hearing of the petition.

But lawyers to INEC, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN); Buhari, Yusuf Ali (SAN); and APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), all opposed the application to give directives as to the petition, arguing that it would make the record of the tribunal untidy and unwieldy.

Ali argued that if Atiku and PDP wanted to save time, they should withdraw their application to enable the panel conclude pre-hearing session.

But Uche also asked the respondents to first withdraw their counter affidavits to enable the proceeding to move fast. He added that there is “no provision in the First Schedule of the Electoral Act for all motions to be taken before scheduling.”

 

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