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Atiku, PDP Seek Rehearing, Tribunal Adjourns To July 1

Atiku, PDP Seek Rehearing, Tribunal Adjourns To July 1

Doris Ukaonu

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday the 27th of June moved to July 1 subsequent hearing of the application presented by Atiku Abubakar and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) requesting an extension of time to answer to the application of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Before now, two applications filed by the All Progressives Congress were heard on June 11. Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the lawyer for the APC, pulled out one of the applications that were already answered by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

The application which had no response was chosen and adopted by Fagbemi (SAN) who stressed that the affidavit attached to it was unchallenged.

Though, the plaintiffs lead counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), application for an amendment of their response to reflect on the APC application was argued and granted, the petitioners probably, out of an abundance of caution, applied for time to appropriately respond to it.

On Wednesday when the application came up, Atiku and the PDP’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), disclosed to the tribunal that he was “served with Buhari’s response at the tribunal this (Wednesday) morning and he needed time to respond on point of law.”

Uche (SAN) however applied for an adjournment. He also urged the tribunal to proceed with pre-hearing session at least for parties to list how many witnesses they intend to call.

Though, Yunus Usman (SAN), Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) lead lawyers for the Independent National  Electoral Commission (INEC), President Muhammad Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively, did not oppose the application for adjournment, they vehemently objected to the listing of their witnesses when there are still pending  applications.

They maintained that it will be tidy to conclude hearing on all pending applications before the listing of witnesses and allocation of time to the parties to present their cases can be scheduled.

In a brief ruling, chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mohammed Garba, adjourned to July 1 for the hearing of Atiku and PDP’s application and for the continuation of pre-hearing.

It would be recalled that on June 11, Chief Fagbemi withdrew his first application filed on May 14. He had informed the court that the petitioners only replied and filed their counter -affidavit to the motion he had withdrawn.

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He, therefore, urged the tribunal to maintain that his two other applications were unchallenged.




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