The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal have formally commenced hearing in the petitions filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (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) in the 2019 presidential election.
Head of the five-man tribunal panel and the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa gave the assurance on while speaking at its inaugural sitting, held at the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal that each litigant will be given equal opportunity to present his case in a mature manner before the panel.
Justice Bulkachuwa in her address reassured Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, that the Court of Appeal will work in accordance and within the dictates of the Constitution, the law and international best practices, to dispense justices to all, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”
While seeking the cooperation of all, particularly the senior lawyers in the cases, she disclosed that there are, presently 786 petitions, with Imo State having the highest number of 76 petitions.
Aside from the allegation of widespread rigging, violations of the Electoral Act, suppression of voters and violence amongst other electoral malpractices, the PDP Presidential candidate is specifically asking the tribunal to disqualify President Buhari, as the 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 the President.
Other political parties seeking the nullification of Buhari’s victory are 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, Mr. Jeff Ojinka.