As the 21 days deadline provided by the Electoral Act looms to a close, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party during the just concluded election and his lawyers yesterday, stormed the tribunal to lodge a petition against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku in the petition is seeking that the tribunal sacks Buhari and declare him the winner of the poll. Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on February 27, Buhari, who was the flag-bearer of All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the presidential election. Under section 134 of the Electoral Act, 2010, any candidate that was dissatisfied with the outcome of the presidential contest, was mandated to approach the tribunal with a petition, not later than 21 days after the result was announced, a deadline that will expire on Tuesday.
The tribunal must deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date the petition was filed. At press time, Atiku’s team of lawyers led by Mr Chukwuma Ume, SAN, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Mr Emeka Etiaba, SAN, were perfecting the filing process at the Central Registry of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, Abuja. The tribunal will be conducting its proceedings at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja. Though Atiku had yet to arrive at the tribunal where he is expected to personally depose to an affidavit, however, some chieftains of PDP, including its spokesman, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, and Alhaji Buba Galadima, accompanied the lawyers to the tribunal.