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Supreme Court strikes out HDP’s appeal against Buhari’s election

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The Supreme Court has struck out an appeal filed by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and its candidate, Ambrose Owuru, challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner of the February 23 poll.

The apex court dismissed the suit following the dramatic withdrawal of an application praying for the restoration of the appeal to be heard afresh.

Owuru and his party had sought leave of the court to allow them to bring back their appeal which was earlier struck out due to the filling of two notices of appeal in respect of one matter in contravention of the law.

But at yesterday’s sitting, attention of counsel to the appellants, Mr. Sunday Ezema, was drawn to Section 285 (7) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and was asked whether the appeal had not become statute-barred.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who led four others in a short ruling, consequently struck out the application, but declined to award cost against the appellants as demanded by the lawyers to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yunus Usman (SAN), and Yakubu Maikyau (SAN).

Buhari’s legal representative, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), did not ask for cost but had opposed the application to hear their appeal afresh.

However, the ruling party yesterday said it was confident the apex court would affirm the president’s victory tomorrow.

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu at a press conference in Abuja, said the apex court would not succumb to alleged shenanigans and distractions.


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