Over 50 Police Operatives Surround Appeal Court As Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Begin Pre-Hearing
The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal court sitting in Abuja have been surrounded by no fewer than 50 police officers.
This is as as all pre-hearing sessions are commencing today, Monday ahead of full hearing on respective applications challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
Lawyers to respective parties are also in their numbers at the court.
The presidential candidates of both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi have replied to all the preliminary objections filed against their petitions challenging Bola Tinubu’s declaration as winner of the February 25th poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
But Obi’s team in a letter to the Secretary of, Presidential Election Court, dated April 21, asked for the “issuance of pre-hearing notice” in respect of his petition.
The letter was approved by the court, paving way for pre-hearing sitting.
As seen in the pre-hearing form filled by Obi’s legal team, they seek “Applications for subpoena, objections, enforcement of order of court not obeyed by INEC and other applications arising in the course of the hearing.”
Other pre-hearing responses and applications entered by all the petitioners and respondents will be heard.
Recall that Obi had in his petition, accused Tinubu and INEC of alleged corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
Obi argued that the electoral umpire altered election results in about 18,000 polling units against him while refusing to use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine mandatory to accredit voters and upload results in real-time in line with the Electoral Act.
But INEC, Tinubu, and his political party, the All Progressives Congress, had countered Obi and Atiku, asking the tribunal to dismiss Obi’s petition for abuse of the court process.
Atiku had stated that Tinubu was constitutionally disabled from contesting in the election on grounds of his alleged dual citizenship, among others.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has assured the public that Friday, May 5 fire incident at the Enugu Zonal Command of the Commission will not affect its operations.