Hope Democratic Party Takes Presidential Petition to ECOWAS Court

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Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Less than six days that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked it’s lawyers to seek a review of the outcome of the presidential election petition tribunal between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Albert Owuru has headed to the ECOWAS court, stating that the Supreme Court is partisan and hijacked by the government in power.

The HDP presidential candidate, in a suit by one of his lawyers, Yusufu Ibrahim Esq, for and on behalf of Chief A. A. Owuru, Owuru Presidential Campaign Organization (OPCD) in suit No. ECW/CC/APP/45/2019 between Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru, HDP vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria is seeking appropriate redress as candidate and acclaimed winners of the February 16, 2019 presidential Election.

Documents made available to THISDAY showed that HDP on December 4, 2019, filed an application against the

Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the courts determination of the presidential petition already decided.

Yusufu Ibrahim Esq said that the decision to seek relief at the ECOWAS Court is because the Supreme Court in Nigeria is partisan as well divided and therefore cannot be relied upon to see that justice is done to the presidential petitions of its client, Albert Owuru.

He said, “Earlier position that the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Apex Court is divided based on partisan inclinations and ultimately being controlled and pocketed by state actors under the present government of Mohammed Buhari”.

He said that the position of the HDP as a political party “has since been vindicated by later various Supreme Court decisions that has exceeded 60 days limit experience that led to our seeking of succour in the ECOWAS Court of Justice for redress of violation of protected rights.

“It is a thing of regret that Nigeria and indeed, the Supreme Court, and various heads of courts have been allowed to degenerate to this level, flowing from mismanaged elections from incompetent handpicked electoral umpires, to handpicked heads of courts, up to the Supreme court to cover up the electoral malfeasance and ensure victory at all costs and which victories before our very eyes is nothing but pyrrhic victories as the Nigerian state is fast disappearing and rubbished before the world.

“Our experience was befuddling, when the Presidential Election Tribunal, looked away from the fine and substantial issues of law and adduced evidence and facts, not challenged or controverted, and indeed admitted to by the respondents, to openly engage in cover up and doing the Respondents case

instead, using and relying on legal technicalities over already abandoned and already admitted pleadings and subpoenaed witnesses of INEC Chairman and NAMA.

“Our experience at the Supreme court left us even more depressed and confused as the two separate panels set up only showed sheer intolerance and partisanship”, Counsel to the HDP Presidential candidate lamented.

He said that the first panel that sat on October 2, 2019, relying on an Owuru Presidential Campaign Organization additional record of Appeal filled and smuggled in by the Respondents, not serve on him, the appellant, the previous day, and without Jurisdiction thereof, threw it’s presidential Appeal on the ground that two notices of Appeal were filed.

Another panel, he said that was set up following it’s protest and the Supreme Court realization of the earlier error, simply relied on the false date given by the same Supreme Court to hold that the 60 days stipulated period by law to hear Election Appeals had elapsed and threw out the presidential election Appeal without hearing of any kind.

According to lawyer to Owuru on the grounds of heading to 4th ECOWAS court said, “Going by the recent decisions and reviews by the same Supreme court, it must be clear to all, that the Supreme court has power to hear and review its decision beyond the 60 days time limit on which it based its ruling against our case, perhaps fearing that our party’s case which remained unchallenged as the unopposed winners of the duly scheduled February 16, 2019 presidential election, which INEC was shown in evidence to have no powers to postponed on the very election day under S. 26 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended”.

On why he choose the sub regional court, he said “Armed with the documented commitment of the Nigeria state as signatory to the various ECOWAS protocols on good governance, Articles of the African Charter

on human and people’s rights, UN e.t.c”, they have no better alternative than to institute the appeal in suit No. ECW/CC/APP/45/2019 between Chief Ambrose Albert Owuru, HDP vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria seeking appropriate redress as candidate and acclaimed winners of February 16, 2019

presidential election, on December 4, 2019, filed an application against the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the courts determination of his internationally protected and flagrantly violated rights to have his cause heard as breached by the Nigeria Apex Court and equality before the law to have his cause heard and declared president and in alternate reliefs to have the right to participate in a constituted government of National unity and N800 billion as appropriate reliefs in the circumstances”.