*Reserves ruling on INEC, Buhari, APC’s objection to petition
Alex Enumah in Abuja
When the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) sitting in Abuja resumes Thursday, June 13, one of the motions penned down for hearing is that of Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking for an order of the tribunal to inspect materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the February 23 presidential election.
The tribunal will also listen to the application of the petitioners asking for an extension of time to respond to some processes filed by INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Chairman of the five member panel hearing the petition of Atiku and the PDP against President Buhari’s victory, Justice Mohammed Garba, fixed the date at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings of the presidential election panel.
The tribunal however reserved ruling to a date to be communicated to parties in motions filed by the three respondents seeking the striking out or total dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s petition.
Atiku and the PDP had sometime in March this year obtained an order of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to inspect materials used in the conduct of the presidential poll but was denied permission to carry out forensic audit on the materials and polling documents.
The three man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki had in its ruling held that such request for scanning, forensic analysis of the election materials should be brought before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
At the resumed pre-hearing session Tuesday, the respondents, INEC, Buhari and the APC respectively urged the tribunal to strike out the petition of Atiku and the PDP for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
INEC in four different motions argued by its lead counsel, Yunus Usman SAN, challenged the competence of the petition filed by Atiku and the PDP.