Tribunal summons Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, INEC, others to pre-hearing session on Monday, May 8″

The Presidential Election Petitions Court PEPC, has issued a pre – hearing session notice to five political parties challenging the election of Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the President -Elect.

According to the notice the pre -hearing will hold on Monday, May 8, 2023 at the Court of Appeal in Abuja. Five petitioners are challenging the election of Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the processes that cumulated into the Independent National Electoral Commission ,INEC.declaring him as the winner of general election held on Saturday February 25,2023.

The pre – hearing session notices were served on the All Progressives Congress APC, and it’s presidential candidate Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the People Democratic Party PDP, and Atiku Abubakar it’s Presidential candidate, as well as the Labour Party LP, and it’s presidential candidate Peter Obi.

Also served with the pre – hearing session notices are Allied Peoples Movement, APM, Action Alliance, AA, and Action People Party,APP. and their presidential candidates who had filed petitions challenging the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, whose act during the election is being challenged at the PEPC was also served with the pre- hearing session notice.

An official of the PEPC and members of legal teams of the petitioners as well as
the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Ahmad El-Marzuq, have all confirmed the date for the pre-hearing session.

Judging from previous election petition tribunals hearings, the pre- hearing session of the petitions would enable both the petitioners and the respondents identify the processes they have filed and the responses they have received.

It will also enable any of the litigants raise objection if any member of the panel is not qualify to hear the petition as the identities of members serving on the panel would be unveiled on Monday at the pre-hearing session.

The Presidential Election Petition Court will also at pre- hearing session obtain consent of the parties and fix time table for hearing of the petitions and the preliminary objections . But with the limited time available for hearing of the petitions the panel is likely to hear both the petitions and objections together at same time and reserve ruling to a later date.

The five political parties whose petitions are up for hearing had filed the petitions after the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, on March 1, 2023 declared Tinubu the president-elect on the grounds that his party scored the majority of votes cast in the polls.

He had said that the former Lagos state governor polled 8.8 million to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 6.9mn, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third with 6.1mn among 15 others.