The Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) has set deadlines for both Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), and President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to defend their victories and present their petitions. This development comes as the court seeks to expedite the hearing process and ensure a fair resolution of the disputed February 25 presidential election. Let’s delve into the details.
In a recent ruling, the PEPC has granted Mr. Peter Obi and the LP three weeks to present their joint petition challenging the presidential election. On the other hand, President-elect Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, alongside the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has been given a five-day period to defend his victory. The court’s decision aims to maintain a timely resolution of the petitions.
Mr. Peter Obi, represented by his counsel Professor Awa Kalu, SAN, had initially requested seven weeks to substantiate their allegations regarding the disputed election. However, the court, considering the urgency of the matter, has limited the timeframe to accommodate the necessary hearings and subsequent proceedings.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, the chairman of the PEPC, announced the court’s decision during the presentation of the pre-hearing sessions report. According to Justice Tsammani, Mr. Obi must commence his petition on May 30 and conclude it by June 23. The court’s rationale behind this strict timeline is to ensure the petitions are addressed within the given timeframe.
Following the court’s order, Mr. Peter Obi, who was present during the proceedings, sought permission to prepare for the full-blown hearing of the petition. Recognizing the significance of the upcoming hearings, he promptly left the court premises.
Paragraph 5: Furthermore, the court has ordered the consolidation of the petitions filed by the PDP, LP, and the Allied People’s Movement (APM). This decision, despite objections from President-elect Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC), is aimed at expediting the hearing process and ensuring a comprehensive examination of the disputed election.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, presiding over the panel handling the various petitions, emphasized the consolidation’s importance for a speedy resolution. Considering the petitions’ similarity in relation to the same election and Tinubu’s victory, the court scheduled the full-blown hearing for Tuesday, May 30, 2023.
With the timelines set by the PEPC, both Peter Obi and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu have a clear framework to defend their victories and present their petitions. The consolidation of petitions further ensures an expeditious and thorough examination of the disputed presidential election. As the hearings commence, the court aims to provide a fair and timely resolution to this significant matter.