#POLITICS: Buhari, INEC fail to stop PDM’s petition at tribunal - WELCOME TO FACTS ZONE NEWSPAPERS

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#POLITICS: Buhari, INEC fail to stop PDM’s petition at tribunal

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President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday lost their separate bids to have the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and its presidential candidate in the February 23, Pastor Haminchi Habu, dismissed by the presidential election petition tribunal.

The PDM and Habu are challenging the victory of President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.

However, Buhari and the INEC filed separate motions, urging the election tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

The predicated their applications on the grounds that the petitioners did not comply with the provisions of paragraph 18(1) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act.

Specifically, it is the contention of the electoral body that the petitioners had violated the said provisions of the Electoral Act by failing to apply for the pre-hearing notice within seven days after the close of pleadings marked by the filing of their final replies.

Dismissing the applications, the Justice Mohammed Garba-led tribunal held that the petitioners did file their application for the issuance of pre-hearing notice within the time stipulated by law.

Justice Garba, who read the lead ruling, held that the pleadings were closed on April 20, when the petitioners filed their reply to the last-received reply of President Buhari to the petition.

He, therefore, held the application for the issuance of pre-hearing notice filed by the petitioners on April 30, was within the seven days period stipulated by law and deemed to be proper.
He dismissed the applications by INEC and Buhari for lacking in merit.

The tribunal also dismissed an application by the petitioners seeking that judgment be delivered in their favour on the grounds of alleged tardiness of the INEC, Buhari, and APC.

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