* Hearing in substantive matter commences Thursday
By Alex Enumah
The candidate of the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday failed in his bid to get the presidential election petition tribunal to reopen the application of the All Progressives Congress against his petition, following the refusal of the tribunal to do so.
Chairman of the five member panel, Justice Mohammed Garba, refused Atiku’s motion in a ruling delivered by the panel on grounds that the application lacked merit.
According to the ruling, the petitioners failed to provide cogent reasons why the application should be granted. Justice Garba held that Atiku did not give any reason why they failed to file a counter affidavit to APC’s objection to the petition.
The tribunal also stated that Atiku and PDP decided as a matter of choice to file an address and objection without counter affidavit to the objection raised by APC in their motion of May 15, 2019 that was argued on June 11, 2019.
Further, the tribunal disagreed with Atiku on the issue of fair hearing as his lawyers were present in court during proceedings but chose to conduct their petition in their own way.
Consequently, Justice Garba held that the application for setting aside the proceedings of June 11 lacked merit, fails and accordingly dismissed.
Meanwhile, the tribunal has adjourned till Thursday for commencement of hearing in the main petition.