On Monday an attempt by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in its petition challenging his qualification for the February 25, 2023, presidential election was rejected by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC).
Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, Tinubu lead counsel, had sought to use a Supreme Court judgment delivered on May 26, 2023, to terminate the APM’s petition, but the request was turned down.
The grouse of Tinubu was that the Apex Court had resolved the sole issue raised in the petition of the APM in the judgment in a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He sought to move the Court to invoke the spirit and letters of the Supreme Court judgment to halt the hearing into the APM’s petition.
The Presiding Justice of the Court, Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani, however, disagreed with Tinubu and held that the party cannot be shut out in the face of fair hearing.
Justice Tsammani asked Tinubu to keep his objections against the hearing of the petition to the final address stage of the court’s proceedings.
Similar objections raised by APC through its counsel, Charles Edosomwen SAN, against the petition on the same ground were turned down by PEPC for the same reason.
Earlier, the APM, through its lawyer, Mr Gideon Ijiagbonya, had informed the Court of receipt of the Supreme Court judgment being sought to be used to terminate its petition.
The lawyer said that upon perusal of the judgment by the Supreme Court, he and his legal team concluded that there is life in the petition and applied for its hearing.
He, however, sought adjournment till June 26 to enable him to obtain a vital document from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to establish his case.
Justice Tsammani, in a brief ruling, rejected a week-long adjournment and fixed Wednesday, June 21, for the hearing of the petition.