The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Monday commenced pre-hearing of the petitions challenging the outcome of the February 25 presidential election which declared Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress winner.
The five-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal that will decide and hear all petitions is headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani, the presiding Justice of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal.
Other members of the panel include Justice Monsurat Bolaji-Yusuf (Asaba Division), Justice Stephen Adah (PJ Asaba Division), Justice Boluokuromo Ugo (Kano Division) and also Justice Abba Mohammed (Ibadan Division).
Justice Tsammani, in his preliminary remarks, stressed on putting the interest of the country first, saying it is “paramount”.
He also urged lawyers to refrain from time-wasting in their defence and the legal proceedings.
He said: “As we commence hearing of the petitions, let us avoid making sensational comments. Let us consider the safety and interest of the country, that is paramount.
“We should avoid unnecessary time-wasting applications and objections so that we can look at substance of the case rather than unnecessary technicalities.
“Let us cooperate with each other so that everyone will be satisfied that justice has been done”.
Reacting to Justice Tsammani’s comment, Dr Livy Uzoukwu (SAN), head of the Labour Party legal team, expressed confidence that “the petition will impact on Nigeria’s jurisprudence and constitutionalism.”
Uzoukwu assured that his legal team “will do everything possible to assist” in the legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, Mr A.B. Mahmood (SAN), lawyer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “My Lords, we are confident that at the end of the day, justice will be done.”
Counsel to the President-elect, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), assured the court of “ maximum corporation” and in the same vein, lawyers representing Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), pledged to assist the court to achieve a seamless proceeding.
Persecondnews gathered that the Action Alliance (AA) on Monday withdrawn its petition challenging the emergence of Tinubu as winner of the election.
The party announced its withdrawal at the inaugural session of the presidential election tribunal on Monday, according to Mr O. Maduabuchi (SAN), who heads the legal team of the party.
The court will hear petitions filed by the the All People’s Party (APP) and also the prayers of Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP).
That of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Allied People’s Movement (APM) will also be heard.