The pre-hearing of the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, against Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has been postponed until Thursday, May 11, 2023, by the Presidential Election appeal Court.
The PDP and Atiku in the petition marked CA/PEPC/05/2023, are challenging the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the February 25th Presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Tinubu, and the APC are listed as the petition’s first through third respondents, respectively.
Chris Uche SAN, the petitioners’ attorney, said during Tuesday’s sessions that they had filed and served a motion dated May 7th asking for a live broadcast of the presidential tribunal proceeding.
Uche added that the application was a motion of priority which requires immediate attention given the national importance of the issue at hand.
“We urge your Lordship to set it down for hearing and adoption as soon as the court’s business may allow.”
The counsel for INEC, A.B Mahmoud, in his response acknowledged the application which he described as “innocuous” and requested time to respond “being served yesterday.”
Similarly, the counsel for the 2nd respondent, Lateef Fagbemi, told the court that they received the application and “we are taking steps to respond appropriately to the application.”
The counsel to the petitioners further argued that he was just hearing that the 2nd and 3rd respondents have filed on the matter adding that in the spirit of cooperation, they are prepared to accept service in the open court.
He said, “We pray that the parties don’t insist on the maximum length of time if we are to make progress.”
But Fagbemi, counsel to the 2nd respondent, objected to Uche’s claim saying that “The motion was filed by 9:30am and not in the open court
If he said counsels should cooperate, we will follow the time and we will not flout the rules.”
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Tsammani, thereafter asked parties to the petition to settle all issues for objections and determination, saying that the application for a live broadcast of the proceeding “will be considered together with the other issues.”
The judge then adjourned the pre-hearing of the petition to Thursday May 11, 2023, by 2pm.