The National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna has dismissed an application by ex-member of House of Representatives, Engr Suleiman Aliyu Lere as fourth respondent to a petition filed before it by Hon Rabiu Muhammad Lawal and the PDP.
The Tribunal chairman, Hon Justice A. H. Suleiman, in the ruling said going by the evidence before it, the applicant was not a necessary party to this petition.
He explained that the jurisdiction of the tribunal was properly invoked with the parties as presently constituted saying further that the tribunal holds that his application was without merit, and dismissed it accordingly.
Justice Suleiman added that an election petition tribunal will not join a party as a respondent in an election he did not participate and win.
“For an election petition tribunal to even declare any person winner at an election, such a person must have fully participated in all stages of the election. Section 285(13) of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended is conclusive on this point. See also Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as emended).
“In the present case, the applicant has not filed any petition before this tribunal or any other. He merely wants to join as a party interested in the outcome of the petition. He is to join as what? A petitioner against his party and INEC or a respondent in an election he did not participate? The law does not permit him to do that,” he said.
The applicant had in a suit No. EPT/KD/HR/2/19 sought an order to grant him and the PDP leave to be joined in the petition outside the pre hearing session as fourth respondent.
It will be recalled that the Engr Suleiman Aliyu Lere won the All Progressives Congress, (APC) primary for Lere federal constituency but was dropped for Ahmed Mohammed Munir.