Tribunal Refuses To Strike Out PDP, Atiku’s Petition as Atiku loses case against security agencies

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal currently holding at the Appeal Court, Abuja has said that the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar does not lack in merit as opined by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The INEC has earlier requested that the Tribunal should not entertain the case on the ground that the person of the vice president was not included as a party by the PDP’s petition.

But the tribunal ruled that it cannot strike out the case on that ground, because the vice president is not an indispensable party in the election, but an interested party.

Meanwhile, claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that the security agencies brutalized some electorate during the February 23 presidential election does not hold water, the Tribunal said.

The Tribunal agreed with the Respondents’ position that PDP should have joined the Nigeria Police Force and any other security agency mentioned in the suit, because the failure to join them is like accusing a person and not giving him the opportunity to defend himself.

It held that the paragraphs were liable to be struck out since it contained serious allegations of crime, corrupt practices, violence, unlawful interference in the electoral process, made against those that could not defend themselves.

“The court cannot make pronouncements against such persons in violation of their right to a fair hearing under section 36 of the 1999 constitution. “The motion, therefore, succeeds only in part. Prayer 7 and 8 are accordingly granted”, the tribunal held.

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