When the three petitions contesting Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s eligibility and the declaration that he won the presidential election on February 25 were combined, the Presidential Election Petition Court, or PEPC, upheld the position of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s candidate for president.
The court announced the consolidation of the three petitions filed by Atiku, Peter Obi of the Labour Party LP, and the Allied People’s Movement APM in the pre-hearing session report delivered on Tuesday by Justice Stephen Jonah Ada.
The Court concurred with Atiku’s attorneys that it was proper and acceptable to merge the petitions in accordance with the requirements of the Electoral Act 2022 considering the time-bound nature of the petitions, particularly for expedited hearing reasons.
The three petitions pertain to the same election and the same announcement of results, Justice Ada stated when declaring the consolidation.
On the grounds that the interests of justice would not be served, Tinubu had vigorously opposed the consolidation move.
But Atiku and PDP, who viewed the challenge to consolidation as a ruse to postpone a speedy resolution of the three challenges, had pleaded with the Court to accept the proposal in order to adequately address their respective complaints over Tinubu’s election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been given three weeks by the court to respond to Atiku and the PDP’s allegations about alleged irregularities in the way the presidential election was conducted.
Additionally, they must within that time frame state their concerns to Tinubu’s eligibility for the election and his subsequent reelection as the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
The entire hearing of the three petitions has been set for May 30 by the court’s chairman, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani.