Tribunal grants PDM permission to serve Buhari petition through APC

Tribunal grants PDM permission to serve Buhari petition through APC

- Aminchi Habu has been permitted by the presidential election petition tribunal to serve his petition on President Buhari through the APC

- The candidate of the PDM is challenging the declaration of Buhari as the winner of 2019 presidential poll

- According to the candidate, the name of his party and logo were unlawfully omitted from the ballot papers by INEC and this caused immeasurable losses in resources and electoral fortunes

- Habu said he purchased the presidential form for N5 million after which he visited 36 states of the federation to seek support of party members

The presidential election petition tribunal has permitted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Aminchi Habu, to serve his petition on President Muhammadu Buhari through his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Habu is challenging the declaration of Buhari as the winner of the February 23 presidential election on the grounds that INEC excluded the name of his party from the ballot paper.

Justice Abdul Aboki, who headed the three-man panel of justices of the Court of Appeal of the tribunal made the order allowing substituted service in a ruling on an exparte application brought by the petitioners, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

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Counsel to the petitioners, Aliyu Lemu, said the ex parte application arose due to his inability to effect personal service of the petition and other processes on the president because of security and protocol surrounding his office.

The petition has the president, INEC and APC as respondents. Habu and his party want the tribunal to, among other prayers, declare the victory of Buhari and the APC at the Feb. 23 presidential election null and void.

He said this was based on the grounds that the name of his party and logo were unlawfully omitted from the ballot papers by INEC thereby denying him the opportunity of contesting in the election.

He claimed that he and his party had spent a lot of money on campaigns and they felt cheated by INEC. He prayed the court to declare that he was validly nominated by his party but unlawfully excluded by INEC from the election into the office of president.

In his statement on oath, Habu said that he purchased the presidential form of PDM at the rate of N5 million after which he visited the 36 states of the federation to seek the support of party members.

He said after he emerged winner of the primaries, PDM forwarded his name to INEC, adding that INEC without any lawful cause, wrongfully excluded his name, his party and logo from the ballot paper.

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He said they were also excluded from all other electoral materials and documents used for the February 23 presidential election. He claimed that by unlawfully and wrongfully excluding them, INEC caused immeasurable losses in resources and electoral fortunes.

Justice Aboki, in his ruling, said that the panel had carefully considered the ex parte application and had resolved that it would be in the interest of justice if the application was granted.

He consequently ordered that the petition and other processes be served on Buhari through the office of the National Legal Adviser of the APC at it’s National Headquarters, 40 Blantyre street, off Adetokunbo Ademola street, Wuse II, Abuja.

Recall that Legit.ng reported that the INEC officially declared President Buhari of the APC as the winner of the 2019 presidential election, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the PDP with over three million votes.

The chairman of the INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said that the duty of the commission is to conclude and collate the presidential result for final declaration.

However, Atiku is cahllenging the declaration of Buhari as winner of the election and has vowed to reclaim his "stolen mandate".

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