Nigeria: Supreme Court Strikes Out Atiku, PDP's Appeal

Photo: Vanguard
(file photo).

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck out an interlocutory appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, after the appeal was withdrawn by Mr Abubakar's counsel.

Justice Musa Muhammad in the lead judgment held that the case was statute-barred and therefore dismissed.

"This appeal is hereby dismissed having been withdrawn by the counsel to the appellant and without any objection from the respondents," he said.

Eyitayo Jegede, who represented Mr Abubakar, told the court that the appeal was statute-barred, the time for having expired.

NAN reports that the applicants are challenging the alleged failure of the electoral body, INEC, to allow them access to the acclaimed central server used for the February 23 general election.

The petitioners also approached the apex court to challenge the proceeding of June 11 at the tribunal where the PDP said APC ambushed it by secretly withdrawing a motion and replacing same with another not responded to.

NAN reports that Justice Garba Mohammed, chairman of the tribunal, had in a unanimous decision on July 3, dismissed a prayer by the applicants to reopen arguments on the APC application that sought dismissal of the petition.

Mr Garba held that the petitioners failed to adduce cogent reasons why such request should be granted, having failed to file a counter affidavit against issues raised earlier.

The tribunal had on June 11 ruled that the petitioners failed to file counter affidavit against APC's motion seeking dismissal of the petition on accounts of unsubstantiated allegations of noncompliance and malpractices.

The tribunal had held that its record showed that the petitioners were duly served with APC's motion on May 16 which gave them seven days to file their counter-affidavit.

The APC had urged the tribunal to strike out allegations of widespread malpractices made on the conduct of the presidential elections in 10 states from the petition.

The party alleged grave errors, adding that the petition was shrouded in unsubstantiated issues in the 10 states.

The party also claimed that Mr Abubakar merely made vague allegations of electoral malpractices in the 10 states, adding that vague allegations were unknown to law.

The states were Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Niger, Katsina, and Bauchi states.

The APC, had also in the motion invited the tribunal to strike out allegations of act of violence leveled against Vice President, Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police and several other individuals who were not listed as parties in the petition. (NAN)

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