According to Vanguard News, the Labour Party's Mr. Peter Obi filed a case to contest the results of the 2023 presidential election, and the Presidential Election Case Tribunal, PEPC, in Abuja has postponed further proceedings until May 17.
Following a decision reached by all involved parties, the meeting was adjourned.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, President-elect Bola Tinubu, Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, are listed as the petition's first through fourth respondents.
As soon as the case's hearings started, Obi and the LP informed the court that the parties had met and decided to request an adjournment so they could file and exchange the appropriate legal documents.
He informed the court that numerous procedures and motions had still to be submitted in the case.
The adjournment, according to Uzoukwu, SAN, will allow for a swift hearing and decision on the issue.
"My Lords, we convened and determined that the matter should be continued until next Wednesday so that we can be certain the processes are ready for hearing when we reconvene."
"We also decided to meet and make decisions about papers that are and are not in dispute before that time, Uzoukwu stated.
On its side, INEC acknowledged through its attorney, Mr. A. B. Mahmood (SAN), that the parties had met and decided to request a postponement following a brief discussion they held on
The delay was required, said Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the attorney for Tinubu and Shettima, "so that when we come on Wednesday, all the applications will be ready for adoption," he added.
Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the APC's attorney, also stated that his client thought the adjournment would speed up the process.
The five-member panel, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, agreed to the request for an adjournment after hearing from all the parties.
The petition's essential problems must be identified, according to the court's directive to the parties.
The matter was then put on hold while the pre-hearing session continued.
Obi, a candidate for the LP, specifically asked the court in his petition to rule that Tinubu had not been legitimately elected by the majority of the valid votes cast in the election.
Obi claimed that Tinubu was ineligible to run for office at the time of the election in the petition, which he based on three arguments.
He maintained that he was still the APC nominee for the Borno Central Senatorial race at the time Tinubu's running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, was nominated to run for vice president.
Obi and the LP also contested Tinubu's ability to run for president, claiming that the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division of the United States District Court, had earlier penalized him $460,000 for an offense.
The petitioners stated that INEC operated in violation of its own laws and guidelines on the grounds that the election was unlawful due to corrupt activities and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The petitioners argued that the electoral body was mandated to establish and implement technological devices for the accreditation, verification, continuation, and authentication of voters and their information as contained in its regulations during the conduct of the presidential election.
As a result, they requested that the court rule that Tinubu was unable to run for office and also rule that any votes cast for him were invalid due to his ineligibility or disqualification.
"That it is determined that the First Petitioner won the 25th February 2023 presidential election based on the remaining votes (after deducting the votes credited to the Second Respondent) and had not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least 2/3 of the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and satisfied the constitutional requirements to be declared the winner."
"That it be resolved that, having lost the election, the second respondent was ineligible to be recognized and returned as the winner of the presidential election held on February 25, 2023. short of garnering one-quarter of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja."
Alternately, the petitioners are asking for a ruling that declares the election void and orders INEC to hold a new election in which Tinubu, Shettima, and the APC, who is named as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respondents, respectively, are not allowed to run.
They requested that the court rule that Tinubu's return as the winner of the presidential election was illegal, unconstitutional, and had no bearing at all because he had not been properly elected by a majority of the valid votes cast in the election.
"That it is decided that based on the valid votes cast at the election on, the 1st Petitioner should be declared and returned as the winner of the presidential election," February 25, 2023, and not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja."
"An order directing the First Respondent to issue the First Petitioner the Certificate of Return as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," reads the order."
Additionally, "that it be found that the Certificate of Return that the First Respondent improperly issued to the Second Respondent is null and void and be set aside."
In a different alternative prayer, the petitioners asked for an order "canceling the presidential election conducted on February 25, 2023, and mandating the 1st Respondent to conduct a fresh election for the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria."
In the meantime, Obi Wednesday supported Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, in his demand for live coverage of the daily proceedings on petitions challenging the proclamation of Tinubu of the APC as the winner of the presidential election.
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