Live Updates: Supreme Court Hears Atiku, PDP’s Appeal against Buhari’s Election

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10.11 AM

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.

9.22 AM

The CJN, Ibrahim Muhammad has just called the first case on his list, the appeal of Atiku and PDP against the election of President Buhari.

 

9.19 AM

Leading the seven man panel are the CJN, Ibrahim Muhammad, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Olukayode ariwoola, Musa Datijo, Inyang Okoro, Ejembi Eko and Uwani Abba Aji
9.12 AM
The CJN, Ibrahim Muhammad has just called the first case on his list, the appeal of Atiku and PDP against the election of President Buhari.
9.03 AM
Any moment from now the Supreme Court will commence hearing in the appeal filed by candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, and his party, the PDP against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku and PDP are challenging the entire judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which had affirmed the election of President Buhari.
The hearing is coming exactly 49 days after the tribunal’s verdict which returned Buhari for a second term in office and nearly 37 days after the appeallants filed their appeal seeking to nullify the judgment and be declared lawful winners of the presidential poll.
Although members of the panel havr not yet been made public, it is believed that the apex court would not deviate from the norms of nominating the most senior Justices into the panel.
In the order of senior and those who may likely be in the panel are the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Mohammad, Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Mary Odili, Musa Datijo, Sylvester Ngwuta, Kayode Ariwoola and Kudirat Kekere-Ekun.
As at 8.45am both lead counsel to all parties as well as representatives of the litigants have all in court.
Representing Atiku and PDP is Dr Levy Uzuokwu SAN; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yunus Usman SAN; President Buhari, led by Wole Olanipekun SAN, and the All Progressive Congress (APC) by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN.
For the appellants are Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, Peter Obi, PDP Chairman Uche Secondus, PDP chieftains Tom Ikimi, Raymond Dokpesi.
On the side of the APC are National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Nuhu Ribadu and Senator Andy Uba, while May Agbamuche-Mbu is representing the electoral body.
Atiku and PDP appeal is predicated on 66 grounds in which they urged the apex court to set aside the decision of the PEPT in its entirety on grounds that the tribunal erred in reaching the conclusion that the petitioners failed to prove their case against the respondents.
They hinged their case on grounds that Buhari lied on oath in his form CF001 submitted to INEC to aid his clearance for the presidential election.
They have also alleged Irregularities and substantial non compliance with the Electoral Act and Guidelines during the poll.
Respondents in the petition include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).