Court Adjourns Hearing of Atiku, PDP’s Appeal for 20 Minutes

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Alex Enumah in Abuja
Hearing in the appeal filed by  presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party,  Atiku Abubakar, and his party, PDP, against the election of President Mohammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court has been adjourned for 20 minutes.
The adjournment is to enable the appellants reach a decision on the mode of the hearing of the appeal.
When the matter was called, the presiding justice of the seven man panel and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad had informed the counsel in the matter that the panel had reached a decision to the effect that judgment in the main appeal would cover the other appeals including the cross appeal filed by the APC.
 While counsel to INEC, Yunus Usman SAN, President Buhari, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN and that of the APC, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN agreed with the decision, counsel to the PDP, Dr Levy Uzuokwu SAN however disagreed praying the court to hear their interlocutory appeal challenging the striking out of certain paragraphs in their petition by the tribunal.
While he agreed that due to time constraints, the Supreme Court cannot make an order for retrial at the lower court he argued that the apex court can hear the appeal and consider in reaching a verdict in the main appeal.
However efforts to prevail on the apex court for the the appellants to consolidate their appeals were refused, prompting the court to stand down the matter for 20 minutes to enable the appellants come to terms with the position of the apex court.
In all  there are seven appeals which the apex court said were similar and as such wants to avoid delivering multiple judgment in almost the same issue, adding that one of the appeal is an abuse of court process.
Details later.