Tribunal strikes out HDP’s motion to serve Buhari, INEC, APC




The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Thursday struck out the motion ex-parte, filed by Hope Democratic Party (HDP) to serve President Muhammadu Buhari, by pasting the petition at the Aso Villa Presidential office.

The HDP and its presidential candidate, Mr Ambrose Owuru, are challenging the legality of the election earlier slated for February 16 but later shifted to February 23.

The three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki, struck out the case, following an application filed by HDP counsel, Mr Yusuf Ibrahim, who had informed the tribunal that the petitioner was withdrawing the motion ex-parte.

He also informed the tribunal that the petitioner will file the motion ex-parte whenever it wants to.

The tribunal had fixed Thursday for hearing of the ex-parte motion filed by Ibrahim, seeking an order of the court to serve President Buhari by pasting the petition at the Aso Villa Presidential office, the National Secretariat of the APC and the tribunal’s notice board.

The ex-parte motion followed an affidavit of non-service deposed to by one Abubakar Mohammed, chief bailiff of the Court of Appeal.

The bailiff claimed that security personnel at Aso Villa denied him access to enter and effect service on President Buhari on the grounds that there was no directive from the president’s office to that effect.

The petitioner, who claimed to have been excluded from participating in the Feb. 23 poll, averred that the election was invalid by reason of non compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 which stipulated the conditions under which an election could be lawfully postponed.

Their major contention is that they were validly nominated for the 2019 general election, but were unlawfully excluded from the elections by INEC by delisting their names and party logo from the ballot papers.

The petitioners maintained that they will at the trial, lead evidence and rely on the law in support of their petitions to establish that the shifting of the election from February 16 to 23 was without the backing of law.

The petition marked CA/EPT/PRE/001/2019 is praying the tribunal to nullify the purported election of February 23 and the subsequent declaration of Buhari as the winner on the grounds that INEC has no power under any law to shift the February 16 date to February 23.

They are also saying that the election was invalid by the reason of non compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act stipulating the conditions under which election can be lawfully postpone.

The petitioners also claimed that they were unlawfully excluded from participating in the February 23 poll, their party logo and names were de-listed by INEC from the ballot paper after been nominated for the 2019 general election. (NAN)




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