The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal has merged the petitions of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that of the Labour Party and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission. (INEC).
The announcement was made by the chairman of the court’s five-man panel, Justice Haruna Tsammani on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
This decision, revealed during the reading of the pre-hearing report, means that all the petitions will be heard together as one case.
The chairman further disclosed that the hearing of the consolidated petition is set to commence on May 30, 2023.
As the proceedings progress, written addresses will be adopted on August 5, 2023, paving the way for the court to prepare for the final judgment.
This was revealed on Monday by Atiku’s legal team, led by Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, who stated that the petitions’ enormous importance warranted a prompt hearing.
The former Vice President noted various provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 that granted the court the authority to merge applications for expedited disposition in the interest of justice.
He had argued that, while being submitted by separate parties, the three petitions were all aimed at the same 2023 presidential election and the same pronouncement of Tinubu as winner.
“The petitions from their contents and foundation are flying together with equal force to the same direction of righting the wrongs in the election”, he said.
According to the former vice president, it is natural and acceptable for the Court to do everything in its power and under the law to bring justice to the parties.
By Temitope Hassan