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Presidential election petition tribunal begins sitting

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A combo picture shows Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and main opposition party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar addressing supporters during campaign rallies ahead of the country’s presidential election in Lagos, Nigeria. Pictures taken accordingly on February 9, 2019 and February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Luc Gnago /Temilade Adelaja/File Photo

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal Wednesday commenced hearing in the petitions filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, the PDP and three other political parties and their presidential candidates against the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku, PDP and the others in their various petitions are seeking the nullification of Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential poll on allegations of widespread rigging, violations of the Electoral Act, suppression of voters, violence amongst other electoral malpractices.

The others include the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its presidential candidate, Chief Ambrose Owuru; Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and its presidential candidate, Pastor Aminchi Habu and the Coalition for Change (C4C) and its presidential candidate Jeff Ojinka.

“Justice will be done to all parties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will,” said Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the president of the Court of Appeal and the chairman of the tribunal.

Atiku in his petition specifically asked the tribunal to disqualify Buhari winner of the February 23 presidential election, on the grounds that he (Buhari) did not possess the requisite academic qualification to contest for the office of President.

The petition is also premised on the ground that Buhari lied about his academic qualification as well as schools attended in his form 001 submitted to INEC for purpose of contesting the 2019 presidential election.

Atiku and PDP had filed their petition against the outcome of the election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) in Abuja, on March 18, 2019.

While the HDP and Owuru’s petition marked CA/EPT/PRE/001/2019, was filed March 7, the petition of the C4C along with its presidential candidate and that of the PDM and its presidential candidate were file same day, March 19, 2019.


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