Justice Haruna Tsammani the presiding justice of Abuja Division of Court of Appeal is leading the five-member panel of Justices of the Presidential Election Petitions Court sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja .
The panel on Monday commenced the hearing of petitions filed by five political parties challenging challenging the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the president elect.
Other members of the panel are Justices Stephen Adah, who is the presiding Justice of the Asaba Division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monsurat Bolaji Yusuf, Moses Ugo and Abba Mohammed.
The presiding Justice, Justice Tsamani, in his opening remarks said the Court is Presidential Election Petition Court and not Tribunal and warned against sensational statements for the safety of the country.
“We have five petitions before us, which we shall be alternating during the pre-hearing session. We should avoid unnecessary time- wasting applications as election matters are time-bound”, he said and promised that Justice will be done at the end of the day.
In his remarks, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), representing APC, promised lawyers’ unflinching support in whatever the Court intends to do in giving accelerated hearing in the petitions.
Counsel to the Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Chris Uche (SAN), joined Olanipekun in assuring the court of the support of his team in delivering justice in the matter.
According to Uche, “We shall do everything possible to see that, this matter is amicably resolved so that the country can move forward”.
Livy Nzoukwu (SAN), for Peter Obi and the Labour Party on his part, also pledged the support of his team to enable the court resolve the petitions seamlessly.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also aligned with all the commitment made on behalf of the Bar, saying that, “We recognize the importance of the matter to the country. We shall do everything possible to assist the court in arriving at justice”.
Meanwhile, the Court will this morning take the petitions of the Action Alliance, the Action Peoples Party and the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Yakubu Mahmood had, on March 1 declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and others want Tinubu’s victory upturned on the grounds of substantial non compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of the election.
The Court has risen at the time of filing this report to come back by 10:30am to continue the matter.