Court reserves judgment in HDP’s petition against Buhari, others

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The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has reserved judgment in the petition by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its candidate, Ambrose Owuru against the outcome of the last presidential election won by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court, presided over by Justice Mohammed Garba announced, after parties adopted their final written addresses on Monday, that they will be informed later about the date set for judgment.

Petitioners’ lawyer, Chukwunoyerem Njoku, while adopting his address, urged the court to void the presidential election held on February 23, 2019 on the grounds that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not comply with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act before postponing the election earlier scheduled for February 16, 2019.

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On his part, President Buhari’s lead lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it is frivolous, baseless and lacking in merit.

INEC’s lead lawyer Yunus Usman (SAN) equally prayed the court to dismiss the petition with substantial cost to serve as a deterrent to those who may wish to waste the court’s time by filing frivolous and baseless petitions in future election.

Arguing in similar vein, APC’s lead lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN) prayed the court to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

It is the petitioners’ core contention that they deserved to be announced winners having won, with 50million votes, a referendum allegedly conducted by a civil society group after INEC unlawfully postponed the presidential election earlier scheduled for February 16, 2019.

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