The former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and his party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party has been granted victory by the Presidential Election Tribunal in a ruling on a motion filed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Garba Mohammed, reading the verdict reacted to INEC, which sought dismissal of Atiku and PDP’s petitions because they failed to join the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in their petitions against President Buhari and the electoral umpire, a motion filed on 5 May, saying that, the vice president would have been superfluous in the petition.
The tribunal ruled that the PDP lead counsel, Levi Uzoukwu’s name misspelt and that he is a legal practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar.
The court held that the vice president is not a necessary party in an election petition, saying as an appendage to the candidate, he rises and falls with the candidate
On the other hand, INEC reacted that the vice president is an indispensable party to the petition and that his fair hearing would be breached should a decision be reached without his input.
That Section 137 (2) of the Electoral Act makes Mr Osinbajo a vital part of the petition and that if not followed, the petition would be invalidated.
Atiku and PDP also overcome INEC over its motion asking the court to strike out the petitioners’ witnesses and documents, on the allegation that the person who signed the petition is not a lawyer.