Home » Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), National Politics, Presidency » Tribunal refuses to dismiss Buhari’s petition against Jonathan

Tribunal refuses to dismiss Buhari’s petition against Jonathan

THE Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday rejected bids by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking to dismiss the petition filed by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

CPC wants the tribunal to void the April 2011 presidential polls, which Jonathan was declared winner by INEC.

Jonathan, PDP and INEC had filed an interlocutory application objecting to the tribunal hearing CPC’s petition for being incompetent and defective on the premise that it was filed on a Sunday, which they argued is a non-working day.

But the tribunal was not swayed by the arguments of the trio and held that it would not at this preliminary stage accept their invitation to terminate the petition on technical grounds without looking at the merit of its claims.    

In a unanimous decision of the tribunal delivered by its Head and President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami, it held that the President, PDP and INEC failed to show what injustice, injury or damages they stand to suffer by the fact of the filing of CPC’s petition on a Sunday.

Citing section 150 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010, the tribunal held that there is a “presumption of regularity” and that the Public Holiday Act relied upon by the trio did not apply to the instant case.

Justice Salami held that filing of the petition on a Sunday was just a mere technicality that should not be used to the petition.

He held that tribunal did not fall under regular courts and that it could even sit on any day to meet up with the stipulated 90 days to dispose off the petition.

Meanwhile, PDP’s counsel, Chief Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN) has expressed dissatisfaction with the tribunal’s decision, saying it would seek to upturn it at the Supreme Court.

Gadzama, however, said the party would not apply for a stay of proceeding in the main petition since the Electoral Act did not envisage the present position.

The Police and Civil Defence, which were accused of conspiracy on the alleged election rigging, had the charges against them struck out from the petition on the ground that CPC did not join them as defendants.

The tribunal held that if the CPC was interested in challenging the alleged roles of the Army, Police and Civil Defence in the election, it would have joined them as defendants in the petition.

Justice Salami said it would be grossly unfair to sustain the allegations against the three bodies since they would have no opportunity to defend themselves before the tribunal.

Jonathan, PDP and INEC had argued fiercely in their motions that the CPC petition was a nullity and a lifeless paper having been filed on a non-working day for civil servants and for all public institutions.

Hearing of the substantive petition has been fixed for August 1.


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Posted by on Jul 14 2011. Filed under Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Muhammadu Buhari (1983-85), National Politics, Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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