Tinubu, Shettima, and APC Oppose Consolidation of Petitions Against Presidential Election
In the latest development regarding the petitions challenging the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the February 25 election, the party and its candidate have expressed strong opposition to the proposal for consolidating the petitions. This news was reported by SAVIDNEWS.
During the hearing on Monday at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, the Chairman of the Court, suggested consolidating the three petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate Peter Obi, and the Allied People’s Movement (APM). The aim was to handle related petitions from the same election together and ensure a speedy resolution.
However, the APC and Tinubu strongly disagreed with the proposal, asserting that it would undermine their position and compromise the interests of justice.
The APC, represented by counsel Charles Edosomwen SAN, argued that consolidating the petitions would impede their ability to adequately defend their victory. The party claimed that it would struggle to manage the extensive number of witnesses lined up to testify against them, especially regarding the various allegations leveled against them.
Tinubu, represented by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN, challenged paragraph 50 of the 5th Schedule of the Electoral Act 2022, which empowers the Election Petition Court to consolidate petitions related to the same election and declaration of a winner. Tinubu contended that the law should not be applied in this case, emphasizing that the petitions against him raised distinct issues that require separate hearings.
Kabir Masari, the 5th defendant in the petition filed against Tinubu by the APM, also vehemently opposed the consolidation, stating that it would lead to confusion, chaos, and embarrassment. Masari, represented by lawyer Roland Otaru SAN, argued that while the Electoral Act permits consolidation, it would not serve the interests of justice in this particular situation.
In contrast, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APM supported the proposal and urged the court to disregard the objections and proceed with the consolidation for expeditious handling of the petitions.
The Chairman of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, has scheduled May 23 for delivering the ruling on this matter.