The Presidential Election Petition Court has adjourned to Friday, May 9, 2023, the continuation of the hearing of the petition by the Allied Peoples Movement.
The court made the decision at the instance of the petitioners, who requested more time to take a stance on the status of their petition.
The APM is challenging the outcome of the election that produced Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress as president and Kashim Shettima as vice president.
They are contending that Tinubu was not qualified to run for the presidential office because he did not have a validly nominated vice president, hence, he was not validly sponsored by the APC.
Listed as 1st to 5th respondents in the petition are the Independent National Electoral Commission, the APC, Bola Tinubu, Kashim Shettima and Kabir Masari.
The party stated that “the third respondent lost his candidacy and was no longer qualified to contest the presidential election. When the fifth respondent withdrew his nomination as the 2nd respondent’s vice presidential candidate for his said presidential election.”
The PUNCH reported that the PEPC on Tuesday, May 30 adjourned the petition by the APM to Friday, June 2, 2023, following an observation by a counsel for the president, Wole Olanikpekun.
Olanikpekun informed the court of a recent judgement of the Supreme Court, which, according to him, appears to have resolved the same issue the APM has brought before the court.
He referenced the Supreme Court’s decision of Friday, May 26, that dismissed the suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, which prayed the court to nullify the ticket that produced the president and his vice president on grounds of double nomination.
Olanipekun sought to know if the decision of the Apex Court does not affect the case of the APM, which is also challenging the outcome of the election on the grounds of using a placeholder, Kabir Masari, for Shettima.
He said, “We are aware that the Supreme Court gave a decision on this same matter in the yet-to-be-reported judgement SC/CV/501/20223 and the parties involved were Peoples Democratic Party versus INEC and three others, where the apex court resolved all the issues.
“We promise within the next two days that the certified true copies of the judgement of the Supreme Court will be made available.
“And we will also discuss with the petitioners whether, in light of the decision of the Supreme Court, there will still be the need to continue with this petition.”
Responding, counsel for the APM, Shehu Abubakar, however, requested a short time to enable the petitioners to avail themselves of the judgement to aid their decision.
He said, “Based on the submission of the learned silk, we shall be praying to adjourn the hearing of this petition to enable us to apply to the Supreme Court for the copy of the judgement referred to, to enable us to examine the same and know the effect it has on this petition.”
The court granted his request and adjourned APM’s hearing to June 2nd.
During the resumed hearing on Friday, counsel for the 3rd and 4th respondents, Lateef Fagbemi, informed the court that they have yet to lay hands on the said judgement.
Counsel for the APM similarly told the court that the copy of the Supreme Court’s judgement is not yet available to enable them to “take a stance on the status of the petition.”
“May we respectfully request an adjournment to enable us to take a position on the status of the petition.”
The five-man panel of the court granted their request following the agreement of all the respondents.
The Supreme Court had last Friday dismissed the appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking the disqualification of Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election over the alleged double nomination of his Vice President, Kashim Shettima.
The apex court thus affirmed that the duo of the All Progressives Congress were eligible to contest the presidential election held on February 25.